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  • Proton “Iriz” Compact Car – first official images!


    Selamat Hari Merdeka everyone! It looks like national car company Proton has decided to give us a little Merdeka gift in the form Proton Compact Car teaser images on their new microsite for the car –

    There are a few teaser images on the site showing us things like the headlamp design and the touchscreen head unit. Proton has also given us a way to unveil the full car using four mobile phones to generate four pieces of the teaser image. Try it, it’s pretty fun.

    We did that and pieced together the teaser image especially for you, dear readers. So here you have it, the first official full exterior body view of the new Proton Compact Car that’s NOT leaked from classified areas.


    The first teaser image released for this car in Proton’s Raya 2014 video already gave us a glimpse of how the Proton Compact Car’s headlamps will look like, but in this photo the angle is slightly different. The Proton logo in the headlamp is a nice touch usually found on premium cars.

    The headlamp appears to use both projector and reflector lenses, and the yellow tinge (as opposed to the more whitish colour of xenons) seen in this photo could mean halogen bulbs.

    This teaser image shows a top cutaway view of the car. We can see that the high spec variants (if not all variants, here’s wishing) of the Proton Compact Car will come with six airbags (front, side and curtain). Thanks to the angle, we also have a preview of the interior layout.


    There are five seats of course, and the rear seats look like they have three headrests, and the bench looks like it has a 60:40 split. We can see that the gear lever is in the usual position close to the dashboard, and behind it there are two cup holders and a handbrake lever. It looks like there’s also another cup holder behind the handbrake for the rear passengers.

    This teaser image gives us a first look at the Proton Compact Car’s touchscreen head unit. It looks different from the Android one found in the Suprima S. The four icons seen here are for Navigation, Radio, Media and Bluetooth, so we know that the PCC has integrated navigation maps.

    Our previous spyshots also show what could be a regular non-touchscreen head unit for the more affordable models. Another interesting bit – if you look at the bottom left edge of the image, you can see what appears to be faux stitching on the dashboard for a more premium look, just like in the new Toyota Vios dashboard.

    Click to enlarge

    This teaser image shows that the variants of the car that has the touchscreen head unit can be equipped with a reverse camera function. If it’s standard, even better. The reverse camera video feed has guide lines super-imposed onto it to help with parking.

    Upper end variants of the Proton Compact Car will be available with keyless start, according to the photo below. On the left side of the image you can see what appears to be a normal key hole that’s blanked out.

    The image also allows us a closer look of the dashboard plastic texture around that area. This part of the dashboard is the lower half, and Proton could be using a combination of textures, as the dashboard texture of the area surrounding the air cond vents seen above look a little different.


    Best news of all – safety. The Vehicle Dynamics Control logo seen below confirms the availability of electronic stability control in the Myvi-fighter; what remains to be answered is if it’s standard on all variants. There’s also a five-star ANCAP crash test rating logo, so the PCC looks strong on safety.

    Proton recently revealed that the PCC will be powered by new engines, 1.3 and 1.6 litre units with variable valve timing (VVT). Not just the Campro with VVT bolted on, the PCC’s engines feature a new block, pistons and valves, and is the first of a new series of engines that will power future models and replace the long-serving Campro family.

    More technical details in our previous PCC stories.

  • ASEAN NCAP Grand Prix Awards 2014 commemorates the best vehicle crash test results so far


    ASEAN NCAP held a Grand Prix Awards 2014 last week to commemorate the crash test results of the cars involved in the ASEAN NCAP assessment program since its first testing. The awards also featured segments for safety technology (OEM and car maker category), media contribution and appreciation awards to organizations and individuals involved in the ASEAN NCAP committee.

    The cars are divided into seven categories for these categories, according to body style and for hatchbacks and sedans – kerb weight. Here is the list of the awards recipients.

    Best Child Occupant Protection (COP)
    Mini Car: Kia Picanto
    Small Family: Volkswagen Polo
    Medium Family: Honda Civic
    Large Family: Toyota Prius
    MPV: Perodua Alza
    SUV: Honda CR-V
    Pickup: Isuzu D-MAX
    Best Overall COP: Toyota Prius

    Best Adult Occupant Protection (AOP)
    Mini Car: Mitsubishi Mirage
    Small Family: Honda City (2014)
    Medium Family: Proton Prevé
    Large Family: Toyota Prius
    MPV: Toyota Avanza
    SUV: Honda CR-V
    Pickup: Chevrolet Colorado
    Best Overall COP: Honda City (2014)

    Safety Technology Award
    Car Maker Category: Honda LaneWatch
    OEM Category: Bosch Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
    Academician: No Winner

    The nominees for the awards above consist of cars crash tested by ASEAN NCAP based on crash test performance. The next round of awards will be in 2016 – hopefully more Malaysian or ASEAN market cars will have been crash tested by then so we’ll be able to see award winners picked from a larger pool of nominees. The Prius ended up in the Large Family category because of its kerb weight of over 1,400kg.

    ASEAN NCAP Chairman, Prof. Dr. Wong Shaw Voon said, “I’m very indebted to all parties who has helped MIROS and realized our NCAP dream so far. It started with a small effort with outdoor crash testing, the paper-based star-rating evaluation in MyVAP (Malaysian Vehicle Assessment Program) and today we managed to have the NCAP not only for Malaysia but also for the benefit of the ASEAN region. I’m also indebted to the government of Malaysia for putting the trust on us, MIROS and ASEAN NCAP, to introduce this kind of intervention in road safety with both financial and technical support.”

    ASEAN NCAP Secretary-General, Mr. Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim, added, “We hope ASEAN NCAP will grow stronger and be one of the influential platforms for car safety as well as for road safety as a whole. I’m looking forward for healthy competition among the manufacturers to produce safer cars with commendable safety standard. I personally looking forward for a 5-Star car with an affordable price in the region, and perhaps with only one or two variants per model for ASEAN region with safety not being compromised. We will see the result in the next Grand Prix two years from now.”

  • VIDEO: Petronas Merdeka 2014 – A Walk Through Time

    We’ve come a long way since independence, and sometimes it’s easy to forget how the journey was made since those humble beginnings 57 years ago. To celebrate the passage that is nearly six decades of our country’s existence, Petronas has come up with A Walk Through Time for Merdeka and Malaysia Day 2014.

    The three-and-a half-minute webfilm, capturing the spirit and gestalt shown by the late Yasmin Ahmad in previous outings, relives our nation’s history, viewed through a series of significant milestones.

    Merdeka, the formation of Malaysia and the historic 1992 Thomas Cup win are just some of the key moments captured in the compelling shorty, produced by Leo Burnett Malaysia and crafted by film company Reservoir Production.

    Petronas Merdeka 2014 lead

    Plenty of nostalgia on show, from the (in)famous two-decade-long KL Mini Bus service and the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee’s iconic Laksamana Do Re Mi from 1972 to a time when rickshaws were routine daily transportation and bell bottoms a norm. A Petronas station from the 80s is also depicted.

    A high level of care and attention to detail is evident throughout, most impressively showcased by the props, from the Ruby Theatre in Ipoh (now housing a furniture store, but which had its exterior restored to its former glory for the film) to items such as an Everyday milk tin and an immaculate Broadcast Relay Service Rediffusion television.

    Accuracy happens in the background as well – for example, even if it’s not visible in the film itelf, the tear-off calendar on the wall in the scene that depicts Monday, September 16, 1963 (Malaysia Day) actually reflects the date.

    petronas merdeka 4

    Vehicles from the eras are also featured – the first Proton Saga, Mark I Mini, MG TF and Morris Minor are among the metal to be seen (the Ford Escort Mk II propped in the Ruby frameset didn’t actually come into production until 1974, but let’s not split hairs about this, seeing as the two-door example chosen is representative of the decade).

    Kuala Lumpur’s modern skyline is also represented, with the Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower and the Rapid Rail LRT system featured. The neat touch is that the two protagonists never age, despite travelling through the six decades of the country’s transformation, which encapsulates the film’s tagline of “Reflect on yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow” rather nicely.

    But enough of that now. Enjoy the video (and once you’re done, catch the The Making Of), and we at would like to wish all Malaysians Selamat Hari Merdeka! May we always remember who we are, where we came from and how we got here.

  • PEKEMA: Abolishing APs will affect govt revenue

    Import duties

    Abolishing Approved Permits (AP) for the import of cars will affect the government’s revenue through tax collection from AP holders, and have a negative impact on Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the automotive industry, the Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders Association of Malaysia (PEKEMA) has said, according to a Bernama report.

    Although the number of cars sold made up only five percent of the overall market, annual tax collected from members of the association total over RM2 billion, PEKEMA president Datuk Zainuddin Abdul Rahman said.

    “From the number of imports, the quantity that is brought in is not big. However, in terms of tax collection, our contribution is commendable,” he said in a statement in conjunction with PEKEMA’s annual general meeting.

    “For example, in 2011 the government’s import tax collected from our members totalled RM2.8 billion, and this increased to RM3.3 billion in 2012.


    “This does not include annual corporate and individual taxes. Moreover, the government receives new revenue from the fees of each AP for used cars of RM10,000 which now amounts to more than RM1 billion.”

    The irony, said Zainuddin, is that out of the more than 800 types of APs issued, APs for cars are the only ones on which the government has imposed a fee.

    It was reported earlier in the week that the review on the impact of the termination of the Open AP system should be finished this year, according to the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI). The institute is in favour of abolishing Open APs because, it says, they limit the development of the automotive industry.

    But, according to the PEKEMA president, this is unfounded, as “… the Open AP policy has succeeded in ensuring the participation of Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the automotive industry. This is one of the government’s affirmative actions in the implementation of the New Economic Policy,” he said, according to Bernama.


    On this, Zainuddin said PEKEMA was grateful to the government for considering the issues that could be faced by AP holders, especially its members.

    “PEKEMA has consistently said that the huge implication on Bumiputera entrepreneurs if the Open AP policy is abolished is that it would kill the Bumiputera participation in the nation’s automotive industry…if the proposal is adopted,” he said.

    According to the national news agency, International Trade and Industry minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said earlier this month that the government is still studying the proposal to put an end to APs for the import of cars, and that whatever policy will be introduced to replace the AP system will compensate for the loss in government revenue.

    Further reading:

  • DRIVEN: Audi A3 Sedan 1.4 TFSI and 1.8 TFSI quattro – proof that the best things come in small packages?


    Here it is then, the new Audi A3 Sedan – an Audi for the masses. Well, not exactly for everyone, but it’s a proper Audi built to compete in the junior levels of the executive sedan ranks. That’s a first for Ingolstadt. This car is massively important in Malaysia, especially, where we don’t get the three- or five-door A3 hatchbacks, and the A1 is just too small to be of any relevance.

    We’d be hardly spoiling the rest of this review by pointing out the blindingly obvious, that the A3 Sedan pair (1.4 TFSI and 1.8 TFSI quattro) is very impressive (we’ve made that clear in our last episode of Driven Web Series, anyway). But so is the BMW 3 Series range. Niggling quality and warranty issues aside, the F30 is a cracking car, no matter what variant you choose. But perversely, the Bimmer’s ability is also its biggest weakness. After all, every half-successful bugger around seems to be driving one.

    Surely, given a choice, there are plenty of people looking for something a bit different. With the larger and fast ageing A4 missing the mark, this A3 Sedan looks set to shine. Happily, the new model is not just relying on the cachet of that Audi badge alone. Volkswagen Golf-base or not, these two can each hold its own in the premium class. Time to find out if they hold all the best cards, then.

    Click here for the full review and gallery.

  • 2015 Volvo XC90 coming to Malaysia in August 2015 – high local specs, 400 hp T8 plug-in hybrid considered

    Volvo XC90 First Edition 03

    Volvo Car Malaysia (VCM) held a special product presentation regarding the recently revealed 2015 Volvo XC90 earlier today, during which managing director Keith Schafer announced that the long-awaited second-generation seven-seater SUV is slated to arrive on Malaysian shores in August 2015.

    The company is aiming to bring in the new XC90 as a fully-imported model – production in Sweden is expected to begin in February – before starting local assembly. While VCM currently assembles the outgoing car at its Shah Alam plant, adapting the factory to build vehicles based on Volvo’s new and complex Scalable Product Architecture (on which the new XC90 is based) is expected to take some time, with the first CKD models expected only in 2016.


    VCM is also looking to provide high levels of equipment for local models, and all three 2.0 litre four-cylinder Drive-E petrol powertrains are being considered. These are the 254 hp, 350 Nm turbocharged T5, the 320 hp, 400 Nm supercharged and turbocharged T6 as well as the range-topping “Twin Engine” T8 supercharged and turbocharged plug-in hybrid that produces a combined output of 400 hp and 640 Nm.

    The hybrid is an interesting proposition, as there are currently duty exemptions for hybrids that are locally assembled. This policy will expire at the end of 2015, however, which is some time before CKD production of the new XC90 is set to begin. Perhaps the Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) incentives indicated in the 2014 National Automotive Policy (NAP) will help VCM price a CKD T8 hybrid attractively, as Mercedes-Benz has recently done with the S 400 L Hybrid.

  • Full-ETC at PLUS Batu Tiga, Sg Rasau tolls postponed


    Full-electronic toll collection (ETC) at PLUS Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau toll plazas, supposed to happen this Monday, September 1, is on hold until a later date, according to a statement by Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia (LLM).

    The postponement, instructed to PLUS by the Ministry of Works, is to give motorists passing through the two toll plazas more time to purchase SmartTAG, PLUSMiles or Touch ‘n Go cards before full electronic payment takes place, the statement said.

  • Test drive a Peugeot to win a Peugeot RCZ coupe!


    We’re pretty sure not many would mind a Peugeot RCZ in their porch. Nasim’s Drive 2 Win contest is offering a chance to win one in Rouge Red, and you don’t even need to buy anything to be in the running!

    To participate, visit a Peugeot showroom and test drive any Peugeot model. Once done, fill up the contest entry form and deposit it into the showroom’s contest box. One test drive, one entry. Those who register a new Peugeot will be given five entries for a bigger chance to win something.

    Grand prize aside, the contest is broken into six series’ lasting two weeks each. There will be three winners for each series. Bi-weekly series winners stand to take home a Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2, Macbook Air and shopping vouchers worth RM500.

    peugeot cruisers

    In addition, Peugeot Cruisers will handing out freebies across the country. Hotspots include TTDI, Ara Damansara, Desa Parkcity, Setia Alam, Subang Jaya, PJ State and Jaya One. Outside the Klang Valley, they will head to Bandar Baru Uda and South City Mall, Setia Tropika in JB and Georgetown and Batu Feringghi in Penang. Follow Peugeot Malaysia’s Facebook page for locations.

    The Peugeot Drive 2 Win contest started on August 15 and will end on October 31. Read our review of the Peugeot RCZ to whet your appetite. Good luck!

  • Aston Martin Lagonda first pics: from Oman with love


    Oman Air has announced its partnership with Aston Martin to transport the British carmaker’s yet-to-be-launched Lagonda super-luxury saloon to Muscat for hot-weather testing – and revealed pictures of the pre-production car in the process.

    Like William Towns’ controversial 1976 car, the new Aston Martin Lagonda features slim headlamps that are ‘connected’ to the front grille – although obviously interpreted in a much less angular way here. The thick C-pillars and sweep-up lower rear overhang are also clear nods to the old car.

    The new Aston Martin Lagonda is set to begin series production in very limited numbers next year – exclusively for the Middle East. It’ll be offered for sale by invitation only, and the asking price will be commensurate with the model’s exclusivity, quality and luxury.

    The work of Aston’s special ‘Q’ division (which also gave us the CC100 Speedster, V12 Zagato and One-77), the Lagonda is based on the VH platform that’s used by the Rapide saloon. Power is speculated to come from the Rapide S’ 6.0 litre V12, which develops 558 PS and 620 Nm of torque.

  • 2015 Kia Sorento unveiled in South Korea – more pics!


    The third-gen 2015 Kia Sorento, official photos of which surfaced recently, has been unveiled in South Korea, ahead of a scheduled global premiere in Paris in October. Lots of pics to go along with it, revealing the new SUV’s interior and equipment.

    UPDATE: More technical information from European release added.

    Standing 4,780 mm long (+95 from before), 1,890 mm wide (+5) and 1,685 mm tall (-15), with a 2,780 mm wheelbase (+80), the “Man on the Road” has a huge ‘Tiger Nose’ grille with a 3D diamond pattern up front that flows neatly into xenon projector headlamps with LED DRL ‘eyebrows’.

    Repositioned seat cushions result in more headroom, despite the lower roofline, while boot volume is up by a significant 90 litres to 605 litres. There’s now also an underfloor storage compartment.


    Inside, there’s a three-spoke steering wheel (like the one on the Optima facelift, minus the flat bottom) trimmed in wood and leather, quite a bit of chrome and side air vents that ‘poke out‘ from the dashboard. Manual single-zone and auto dual-zone air-con are available.

    Five- and seven-seat versions will be available worldwide; the seven-seater gets ‘remote folding’ second-row seats (you can fold the second row using levers in the boot area). The second row is split 40:20:40.

    Torsional rigidity is up 14%, thanks to more ultra-high tensile steel in the body. There’s also more soundproofing in the transmission tunnel and dashboard, and larger engine and transmission mounts. Plus, diesel engines get a new particulate filter cover and an acoustic shield integrated into the timing chain cover. The result? Three to six percent lower cabin noise, says Kia.

    Also, a new electric motor-driven power steering system (R-MDPS) is mounted on the rack instead of the column where it was before. Kia claims greater steering feel and quicker response.

    We see two distinct instrument panel layouts here: rev counter/TFT screen/speedo, and rev counter/speedo with integrated TFT (looks bigger here, and in colour too)/fuel gauge and engine temperature.

    Options include ventilated (front only) and heated seats, a heated steering wheel, JBL sound, GPS infotainment and a panoramic sunroof. We also see three alloy designs (one 18, two 19s), two-memory-setting seats with adjustable lumbar, an electronic centre diff lock, a powered tailgate, Drive Mode, Around View Monitor with four cameras and rear air-con with eight selectable fan speeds.

    Safety? There’s Adaptive Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Front Collision Warning, Blind-Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Speed Limit Information Function and Around View Monitor with four cameras.

    In South Korea, the 2015 Kia Sorento will be powered by 186 PS/402 Nm 2.0 litre and 202 PS/441 Nm 2.2 litre engines, both four-cylinder diesels. Other announced engines are a 2.4 litre GDI petrol, a 2.4 litre MPI petrol and a 3.3 litre MPI petrol. Europe will get the 2.2 diesel and 2.4 GDI petrol. All outputs range from 172 to 270 PS.


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