Latest Stories

  • 2021 Nissan Navara facelift Thai specs – 2.3L single- and twin-turbo diesels debut in ASEAN; AEB available

    Weeks after unveiling the facelifted Navara, Nissan has released full specifications for the Thai market. The big news is that the refreshed pick-up truck has finally received the more advanced 2.3 litre turbodiesel engine that is already being offered in other markets, as well as the Terra SUV in the Land of Smiles.

    Previously reserved for markets with fuel grades Euro 5 and above, the YS23 mill replaces the YD25DDTi 2.5 litre four-cylinder oil burner and will be available in two variants. The single-turbo YS23DDT on models with the six-speed manual gearbox makes 163 PS at 3,750 rpm and 403 Nm of torque from 1,500 and 2,500 rpm.

    Meanwhile, the seven-speed automatic is paired to the twin-turbo YS23DDTT that churns out 190 PS and 450 Nm. Base King Cab variants get the old YS25 that has the same outputs as the YS23DDT, but makes peak power and torque at 3,600 rpm and 2,000 rpm respectively. As yet, it’s unclear if other ASEAN markets – such as Malaysia, which still offers Euro 2M diesel – will get the newer engine.

    As a refresher, the facelift adds a new front fascia that is inspired by the larger Titan, incorporating a much larger Navara-badged “interlock” grille, rectangular headlights, a taller bonnet and a more aggressive front bumper design. The rear end also sees some changes, including a taller bed, a new tailgate design and a beefier rear bumper with an integrated step.

    Higher-spec models also come with ice cube-like LED headlights with C-shaped daytime running lights, plus LED taillights with C-shaped light guides. Nissan has also introduced the more rugged Pro-2X 4×2 and Pro-4X 4×4 variants that get blacked-out exterior highlights, wheel arch extensions and 17-inch black alloy wheels wrapped in all-terrain tyres.

    Inside, the changes are limited to a new NissanConnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and either a seven- or an eight-inch touchscreen, as well a greater number of USB ports (including a USB-C port at the front) and increased sound insulation.

    Depending on the variant, the Navara also receives a larger seven-inch multi-info display and an acoustic glass windscreen and front side windows, along with new convenience features such as rain-sensing wipers, auto-folding door mirrors, speed-sensing door locks and 360-degree cameras. Double cab models get reshaped rear seats that are more comfortable and incorporate a centre armrest with integrated cupholsters.

    Safety has been given a big boost this year, with the Navara now being offered with autonomous emergency braking and a driver attention alert on the V, Pro-2X and Pro-4X models. The Pro-4X throws in additional features such as lane departure warning with braking intervention and blind spot monitoring.

    Suspension-wise, Thai-market Navaras come with rear leaf springs to comply with requirements for commercial vehicle taxes, although you can expect other countries to get the same coil springs as before. Nissan is boasting an increased payload capacity thanks to a strengthened live rear axle, while a new steering rack improves response and low-speed manoeuvrability.

    Pricing for the new Nissan Navara in Thailand ranges from 599,000 baht (RM80,400) for the base King Cab 4×2 SL 6MT to 1,149,000 baht (RM154,200) for the range-topping Double Cab 4×4 Pro-4X 7AT.

  • Toyota GR Yaris Rallye set for Australia, from RM168k

    Australia is definitely shaping up to be a significant hub of activity for the Toyota GR Yaris. In September, Toyota Australia announced that the first 1,000 units of the standard model were being introduced at a special AUD39,950 (RM118k) drive-away price. Like hotcakes, all 1,000 units were snapped up in under a week.

    The company isn’t easing up on its GR Yaris-related movement. Yesterday, it unveiled the AP4 rally-specification GR Yaris competition car that will contest the 2021 Australian Rally Championship under Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia. It also announced that the special-edition GR Yaris Rallye will make its market debut in March 2021, priced at an introductory offer price of AUD56,200 drive-away (RM168k) for the first 200 examples.

    The GR Yaris Rallye – which will come in a pearl white exterior for Australia – is essentially the car fitted with the performance upgrades as seen in the Circuit Pack for Europe. The pack adds on Torsen limited-slip differentials at the front and rear, 18-inch BBS forged alloy wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres and GR-badged red brake callipers. The suspension has also been revised with stiffer springs and anti-roll bars as well as retuned dampers.

    No changes to the powertrain, with the G16E-GTS 1.6 litre turbocharged three-pot offering 268 hp (272 PS) and 370 Nm of torque. The mill is paired with a six-speed manual with a rev-matching function, and power is sent to all four wheels via a GR-Four all-wheel drive system that has been specifically developed for the car.

    The GR Yaris Rallye won’t be a limited run model, and will be sold alongside the regular GR Yaris. According to the company, around half of the 1,100 buyers are set to get their cars by Christmas, with the remainder getting their rides by April. With the initial allocation accounted for, buyers who missed the boat will have to wait until the second half of 2021 before they can get their hands on one.

    GALLERY: Toyota GR Yaris, European-spec


  • DS9 sedan goes on sale in Europe – from RM231,641

    DS Automobiles’ flagship sedan, the DS9 has now gone on sale in Europe, following its debut early this year in February. The DS9 is built upon the company’s EMP2 V2.3 platform, making for a car that measures 4.93 m long and 1.85 m wide with a wheelbase of 2.9 m.

    Three powertrain options are available for the DS9. Topping the range is the DS9 E-Tense 4×4 360 PHEV, featuring a 200 hp PureTech engine that is augmented by two electric motors, producing 110 hp and 113 hp respectively, for a total system output of 360 hp and 520 Nm of torque. Completing the range in the meantime are the DS9 E-Tense 225 plug-in hybrid variant and the DS9 PureTech 225 petrol variant.

    The E-Tense 225 PHEV makes 225 hp in total system output, and its 11.9 kWh battery enables a pure-electric range of between 40 km to 50 km on the WLTP test cycle. Equipped with a 7.4 kW on-board charger, bringing the battery to full capacity will take 1.5 hours. All powertrain variants are mated with an eight-speed torque converter automatic.

    The launch range is comprised on two trim levels: the Performance Line and Rivoli. The Performance Line+ variant features chrome DS Performance Line badges on its front doors, gloss black front grille, chrome bootlid trim and 19-inch ‘Monaco’ wheels.

    The DS9 features DS Active Scan suspension, which employs a camera to scan the road as well as level sensors, accelerometers and drivetrain sensors to record movement and prime the damping of each wheel to handle road imperfections.

    Inside, the interior features a mix of black Alcantara and artificial leather with gold contrast stitching, Alcantara-covered centre console and dashboard, the latter featuring an aluminium DS badge. The driver gets a steering wheel trimmed in full-grain perforated leather, while the steering wheel boss is leather-wrapped gets carmine and gold contrast stitching.

    The Rivoli trim variant offers three interior choices; either a full-grain leather in Basalt Black, or Nappa leather in a choice of two colours. Here, the steering wheel gets full-grain leather trim, the gear lever is trimmed in smooth leather, and aluminium is used for trim on selected parts of the dashboard and centre console, while the roof lining and sun visors are trimmed in Alcantara.

    Rear occupants will find USB ports, with seats that include massage, heating and ventilation functions. All occupants will get to enjoy a Focal Electra sound system. In terms of active safety, the DS9 gets the DS Drive Assist level 2 autonomous driving assistance suite, including the DS Driver Monitoring Alert, active lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and autonomous emergency braking up to 140 km/h.

    In its native France, the DS9 flagship sedan starts from 47,700 euros (RM231,641) for the PureTech 225 in Performance Line trim, and 51,700 euros (RM250,734) for the Rivoli trim. The range tops out at the E-Tense 4×4 360 in Rivoli trim at 68,400 euros (RM331,754), and all powertrain variants get both Performance Line and Rivoli trim levels.

    Available exterior colours for the DS9 include Pearl White, Midnight Blue, Crystal Pearl, Artense Gray and Black Perla Nera, and customer deliveries of the DS9 will commence in September 2021.

    GALLERY: DS9 sedan

  • Suzuki Jimny with G-Class conversion kit takes on the Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² – look at the size difference!

    Since its debut, the Suzuki Jimny has received its fair share of styling kits that transform the pint-sized off-roader into something that sort of resembles the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. We’ve seen plenty of examples from companies before, but just how close can these kits mimic the real thing?

    To find out, the folks over at ArabGT have prepared a video comparing a Jimny modified by Dubai-based Fast Car Service Centre (FCSC) to a G 500 4×4². It’s certainly not a fair fight, but it is good fun and amusing to see both vehicles side by side.

    Right off the bat, the size differential is substantial, as the Jimny looks absolutely tiny when parked beside the G-Class variant. The cosmetic package prepared by FCSC does create a rather convincing “baby G,” with many of the Jimny’s original body panels like the bumper, grille and clamshell bonnet, altered to resemble the Mercedes-Benz model. The Suzuki model even gets side exhausts, overfenders, a spare tyre cover, V8 badging and LED accessory lights to match.

    While the exterior of the “baby G” bears some resemblance to its much larger counterpart, the interior is nowhere as luxurious, which isn’t much of a surprise. The same can be said when it comes to performance, as the Jimny’s K15B 1.5 litre NA engine is more than two times smaller in terms of capacity compared to the G 500 4×4² that has a M176 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8, while making around four times less power (100 hp versus 416 hp) as well.

    The more affordable Jimny also doesn’t have the suspension chops to challenge the Mercedes-Benz off-roader, which packs portal axles, plenty of ride height and adjustable dampers. If you need an example of a “David and Goliath” situation, this is it.

    GALLERY: Suzuki Jimny G-Class conversion by Fast Car Service Centre

  • November 2020 week five fuel price – all prices up

    With Friday comes the usual weekly fuel price update, and there’s not much cheer for motorists, with fuel prices increasing across the board in the coming November 28 to December 4 week.

    The ministry of finance has announced that Euro 4M RON 95 petrol will be priced at RM1.67 per litre, up three sen from the RM1.64 per litre it was last week. Similarly, RON 97 petrol sees a three sen increase from RM1.94 per litre to RM1.97 per litre in the coming week.

    Diesel fuel users will also be paying more. The price of Euro 2M diesel will go up to RM1.85 per litre, increasing by four sen from the RM1.81 per litre it is at currently. Correspondingly, Euro 5 diesel, which costs 10 sen more than Euro 2M diesel, will be priced at RM1.95 per litre this week.

    These prices remain in effect until December 4, which is when the next round of fuel price updates will be announced. This is the 47th edition of the weekly fuel pricing format this year, and the 99th in total since the format – which runs from midnight on Saturday until the following Friday – was introduced at the beginning of 2019.

  • Proton X50 ‘Bumblebee’ – viral yellow SUV with over RM50k worth of modifications inside and outside!

    It has been a month since the official launch of the Proton X50. Many soon-to-be owners are still anxiously anticipating that one phone call from their sales advisors, but for others, the modding spree has already begun. There is one that went viral on social media, and you’re looking right at it. Meet, the “Bumblebee.”

    At first glance, this satin pearl yellow X50 might seem like the kind of understated mod your usual neighbourhood car enthusiast would do, although it’s anything but. To know more about the car, Lee, as he prefers to go by, walks us through the list of modifications he has done since taking ownership of the X50. Disclaimer – Lee spent roughly RM52,000 on his 1.5 TGDi Flagship to date, but he’s not quite done yet.

    One of the first things he did was do a full body wrap with chrome-delete. The original chrome trims on the grille, headlights and window surrounds have all been wrapped with gloss black vinyl, as have the roof rails and door handles.

    The LED headlights and LED fog lamps remain standard, but each side of the latter housing gets a trio of LEDs that double as regular DRLs and amber-coloured turn indicators in sequential fashion. All variants of the X50 already come with dual front lip, but Lee saw fit to add a third one, complete with glossy carbon-fibre print.

    Moving to the side, the stock 18-inch alloys have been replaced with 20-inch wheels from Veemann. These matte black twin six-spoke rims have a bead seat profile of 8.5 inches (8.5JJ), which is wider than the 7JJ factory profile. Lee’s tyre of choice is Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S (235/40 ZR20), because why settle for less?

    We’ll talk more about the colossal rotors below and focus on just the aesthetics for now. Other exterior upgrades include carbon-fibre wing mirror caps, a larger rear spoiler taken from the Geely Binyue Sport, LED bar on the tailgate (which relocates the Proton script above it), as well as black Proton and X50 letterings.

    The exhaust system is half new. The section from the stock header to the primary catalytic converter (the X50 has two cat-cons, the first has the oxygen sensor) is retained, but everything aft of it is new. The second cat is removed, and the new mufflers generate an audibly raspier note (Bluetooth remote-activated valves in the pipes further amplify this). The quad tips also get nice carbon sleeves. Lastly, there’s also a hands-free powered tailgate, so just wave your foot to swing it wide open.

    Interior modifications aren’t quite as extensive, but Lee is the kind to leave no stones unturned. The entire dashboard has been wrapped with black Alcantara, replacing the red soft-touch plastic that once graced the entire top section of the dash. The brushed silver dash trim, centre armrest and door trims (originally red leather) also get wrapped in the same material.

    Additional details include yellow contrast stitching on the dashboard, centre armrest, and door panels. Besides the bright red floor mats, everything else remains untouched. There was an attempt to upgrade the 360-degree system to higher definition cameras, but that endeavour met with a minor technical glitch.

    Lee spent approximately RM4,500 to upgrade the sound system, which includes new FRP speakers, a digital sound processor, and an underseat digital active subwoofer. All four doors have been lined with two layers of sound dampening mats which, aside from improving audio quality, also help create a more solid thud when closing the doors.

    So much has already been done thus far, but if you think this is all for aesthetics, well, it goes beyond that. Opening the bonnet reveals an intriguing device called Race Chip GTS (one of their most premium models), which is an aftermarket tuning chip that can be used to improve engine output, alter ignition timing, optimise air-to-fuel ratio, and more.

    But for this specific purpose, the chip (piggybacking on the ECU) is used specifically to increase the performance of the 1.5 TGDi mill. Lee’s dyno tests show a gain of 22 PS and 35 Nm of torque at the wheels, which he says help shave almost a second off the century sprint time. A quick spin around the block tells us that the SUV does indeed feel quicker off the line, and especially responsive in Sport mode.

    Impressive as it may seem, Lee says further refinements could see output figures go up a tad bit more (likely 6 PS and 10 Nm more). Taking that into account, it’s possible for the 1.5 litre mill to make slightly over 200 PS and close to 300 Nm (at crank) with just the tuning chip alone.

    Stopping power is provided by massive 405 mm drilled and ventilated rotors up front. These are taken from the Cadillac CTS-V, a V8-powered super sedan. The discs are clamped by six-piston golden Brembo calipers. Overkill is certainly an understatement at this point.

    The rear discs, which currently look decidedly puny when compared to the front rotors, will be replaced with appropriately large 380-mm ventilated discs (with four-pot clampers) taken from the Porsche Cayenne. The factory brake booster pump and brake linings will also be upgraded in the future.

    For suspension, all four corners are lowered and fitted with Hi-Lo adjustable coilovers. These are specifically made for the Geely Binyue and are fortunately compatible with the right-hand drive X50. Other fine-tunes include a -2 camber angle for the front wheels – Lee says the factory camber angle is -1 for the front left wheel, and +1 for the front right. As a regular at Sepang track days, Lee tells us the mods are not for show, because he plans to field the Bumblebee once the CMCO period ends.

    So there you have it, that’s approximately RM52,000 worth of modifications done to the X50 1.5 TGDi Flagship – exactly half of what the SUV actually costs. But it’s not the end of the line yet!

    Future upgrades, if the “budget” allows, Lee says he plans to install forged pistons, suggesting the eventual move to equip a larger turbocharger for higher boost pressures. Otherwise, a full Mitsubishi 4G63 engine swap is on the cards as well.

    Other “smaller ticket” upgrades would be a four-piece carbon-ceramic disc brake system plucked from the Audi RS5, as well as Recaro race bucket seats.

    Now, what do you think of the Bumblebee? Pretty audacious, no? If you’re planning to do your own X50 mods, keep in mind that these may affect warranty. But hey, as Lee has shown, do what makes you (and your wallet) happy! Start your journey with All In Cross Fifty Accessories Malaysia, here.

  • Selected MRT stations to close this weekend for Putrajaya Line migration works, free shuttle bus

    MRT riders, note that three stations will be closed this weekend (November 28-29) to facilitate migration works for the MRT Putrajaya Line.

    Just like the temporary closure on November 14-15, the stations involved are the Kwasa Damansara, Kampung Selamat and Sg Buloh stations, which are the final (or first) three stops of the MRT Kajang Line. For the Kwasa Damansara station, the parking area will be closed as well, but the Sg Buloh station’s multi-storey parking lot will remain open.

    With this temporary closure, the MRT service will end at the Kwasa Sentral station. Free shuttle buses will link that station to the Sg Buloh station, stopping at Kg Selamat on the way. The shuttle bus frequency is every 15 minutes.

    The MRT Putrajaya Line, formerly known as the MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line, is over 80% complete. Phase one of the line from Kwasa Damansara to Kampung Batu stations should be able to start operating by the middle of 2021, with the rest of the line open to the public by 2022.

    The Putrajaya Line is the Klang Valley’s second MRT line after the Kajang Line, which started full operations in July 2017. The 56.2 km line will have 36 stations, nine of which are underground. It will connect Kwasa Damansara (where it meets the Kajang Line) to Putrajaya Sentral.

  • 2021 Dakar Rally races round the Arabian Peninsula

    In a 14-day epic, the 2021 Dakar Rally will be making a giant loop around Saudi Arabia, covering a total racing distance of 7,646 kilometres with 4,767 of that mileage being a race against the clock. A field of 142 motorcycles, 73 cars, 51 trucks, 21 quads, 73 T3 and SS vehicles and 31 classic rally machines will be competing in the 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally.

    Rules for next year’s Dakar Rally have been modified, with competitors receiving the race roadblock 10 minutes before the start of the race (20 minutes for motorcycles). Another import change is the limit of six rear tyres for the motorcycle category, to encourage caution and an instinct to finish the race amongst motorcycle competitors while four-wheelers are allowed a limited number of piston changes.

    Additionally, all riders are required to wear ASO-sanctioned airbag jackets during the race. Another rule change affecting all competitors is no mechanical work or repairs are allowed to be carried out at refuelling points, save what can be done by the rider or driver during the 15 minutes allocated.

    Racing begins in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on January first with scrutineering and a 11 km prologue stage on January 2. Racing proper begins January 3 with a 622 km stage to Bisha. Stage 4 of the Dakar Rally is the longest single day stage at 813 km with most stages averaging between 550 km to 700 km.

    The end of the Dakar Rally sees a return to Jeddah with an overnight stage between Yanbu and Jeddah covering a distance of 452 km, the shortest racing stage. Favourites to win the 2021 Dakar Rally are Carlos Sainz, driving the Mini John Cooper Works while Ricky Brabec on the Honda CRF 450 is favoured for the flag in the motorcycle category.

  • Geely has sold 10 million cars, reaches milestone in 23 years – Emgrand range, Boyue SUV big contributors

    Geely passed the 10 million cars sold mark earlier this year, achieving the milestone in just 23 years. Of course, having doorstep access to the world’s largest car market and the world’s most populous country helps, but competition is very tough in China, and there are countless carmakers jostling for space, many of them state-owned.

    Geely Auto was founded in 1997 by current chairman Li Shufu, who believed in the potential of the Chinese auto market as his compatriots transitioned from bicycles to motorbikes to cars. The first Geely car, called the Hao Qing, was produced in 1997. The Hao Qing made history as the first privately made Chinese domestic vehicle, an alternative to popular Japanese-brand small cars that cost more than 100,000 yuan at the time (RM61,901, a 10,000 yuan per annum salary was considered high then).

    First-year sales would reach 10,000 units; by 2003, sales touched 100,000 before tripling again to 326,000 in 2009. The introduction of the Emgrand series in 2009 helped to propel Geely sales into the fast lane. The new model range also saw the carmaker focus on premium, quality and performance as brand pillars.

    Geely’s made its first car, the Hao Qing, in 1997

    Further introduction of Emgrand models such as the Emgrand GS Crossover and Emgrand GL sedan helped to push total Emgrand sales to over three million units as of 2020. Another main contributor is the Geely Boyue, which is known as the Emgrand X7, Azkarra and of course, the Proton X70 in other markets. Since it surfaced in late 2016, Geely has sold a million of the SUVs. The Boyue consistently ranks as one of the best-selling Chinese domestic SUVs.

    When Geely Auto’s parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, acquired Volvo in 2010, technological cooperation was the main goal. Today, innovations such as the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), small and efficient powertrains with electrification in mind (the 1.5TD range) and the jointly-created 7DCT gearbox are used across the Geely group, which also has Lynk & Co and Proton under its umbrella.

    Amazingly, nearly half of Geely’s 10 million sales came in the past three years, testament to its rapid growth and impressive new models. With more CMA- and BMA-based vehicles coming (as well as EVs from the new SEA pure electric architecture), the road to the next 10 million vehicles is expected to be much shorter. Check out the Preface a.k.a. Xing Rui sedan and the Xing Yue SUV coupe for an example for Geely’s latest CMA range.

    GALLERY: Geely Xing Yue

  • 2021 Hyundai Elantra open for booking in Malaysia – 1.6L Smartstream engine, IVT; AEB, LKA, BSM, ACC

    The seventh-generation CN7 Hyundai Elantra will be launched in Malaysia before the end of 2020, with an estimated price of RM1XX,888. This was revealed by Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM), and interested customers can now place a booking for a fee of RM777.

    To go along with the announcement, the company also provided a spec sheet for the C-segment model, which is being offered in just a sole variant, powered by a 1.6 litre Smartstream engine with four drive modes (Eco, Smart, Sport and Comfort).

    The naturally-aspirated four-cylinder mill outputs 123 PS at 6,300 rpm and 154 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm, with drive going to the front wheels through Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) that has eight virtual speeds.

    As for equipment, the Elantra will be equipped with projector LED headlamps, LED taillights and 17-inch wheels with 225/45 profile tyres on the outside. Moving inside, there’s a 10.25-inch Supervision TFT digital instrument cluster, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with a wireless smartphone charging pad – more features will be revealed closer to launch.

    A big plus point for the Elantra is the inclusion of Hyundai’s SmartSense suite of safety and driver assistance systems, which includes forward collision warning, blind spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert – all with Avoidance Assist – along with Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Following Assist, Smart Cruise Control (adaptive cruise control) with stop and go function, driver attention warning and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

    All this tech is packaged in a body that measures 4,675 mm long, 1,825 mm wide, 1,430 mm tall, with a wheelbase spanning 2,720 mm. These figures make the CN7 longer (+55 mm) and wider (+25 mm) than the previous sixth-generation AD Elantra facelift, while having a larger wheelbase but lower height (-20 mm).

    Said body is styled following the carmaker’s Sensuous Sportiness and Parametric Dynamics design themes, creating a look that is truly distinctive in a segment occupied by the likes of the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla.

    We’ll only get full details and final pricing when the Elantra is officially launched here, which should take place really soon, seeing how 2020 is set to come to an end in just a few weeks’ time. Would you pick the Hyundai C-segment sedan over its contemporaries? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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Latest Fuel Prices

RON 95 RM1.67 (+0.03)
RON 97 RM1.97 (+0.03)
RON 100 RM2.49
VPR RM2.70
EURO 2M RM1.85 (+0.04)
EURO 5 RM1.95 (+0.04)
Last Updated 28 Nov 2020


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