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  • Formula E race cars get new look for season three

    2016-2017 Formula E race car 1

    For the third season of Formula E, which is slated to kick off in Hong Kong on October 9, the cars themselves will sport a different look. The all-electric racing organisation recently released the first pictures of the new racers today, and as you seen from the front end, this is something new.

    The obvious change here is the new two-tier front wing, which “makes the fully-electric single-seater look more aggressive and unlike any other racing car in the world.” Previously, all Formula E racers featured a single-tier front wing only.

    Aside from the new front-end, Formula E racers for the upcoming season will also see improvements under the skin as well. For starters, the car’s weight has been reduced from the current 888 kg to 880 kg (powertrain and driver included).

    2016-2017 Formula E race car 2

    The vehicle’s all-electric powertrain also receives an update, with the regenerative braking level increased to 150 kW from 100 kW. However, the amount of power available for the drivers will remain the same for season three – 200 kW – but will be gradually increased to 220 kW in season four and a further 30 kW (to 250 kW) in season five.

    Hoping to retain his Formula E drivers’ championship title in the 2016-17 season will be Sebastian Buemi, who was formerly from Scuderia Toro Rosso in Formula One. The Swiss driver currently races under the Renault e.Dams banner alongside French driver Nicolas Prost, who finished third in the overall drivers’ championship standings. Renault e.Dams also won the teams’ championship in the 2015-16 season.

    Renault e.Dams at the 2015 Putrajaya ePrix

     
  • Lane closure at Genting Sempah rest area on the ECE

    Karak-highway-01

    There will be a lane closure at the Genting Sempah rest and recreation area on the East Coast Expressway for 11 days. The closure will be in stages and will be from August 1, concessionaire Anih Berhad has announced.

    The company said in a statement that the closure is for upgrading works and road resurfacing of the exit to the R&R “The temporary lane to the R&R will only be opened to light vehicles, while on Aug 11, the R&R will be closed to all vehicles from 8am to 10pm,” it said.

     
  • 2016 Honda CBR250RR – 360-degree view and more

    With the long-awaited 2016 Honda CBR250RR finally launched a few days ago in Indonesia, here is a 360-degree of Honda’s brand new quarter-litre class sportsbike. Coming in both ABS and non-ABS models, the Honda CBR250RR replaces the previous generation CBR250R single-cylinder machine.

    The new CBR comes with a 249.7 cc parallel-twin engine fed by PGM-FI, with eight-valves and liquid-cooled. Ride-by-wire with three engine modes is standard, a first for Honda in the small displacement category.

    No official word on power or torque figures yet, but somewhere around 26 or 27 real world horses would be about right, corresponding to something like 35 manufacturer horsepower. Power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox and chain drive.

    2016 Honda CBR250RR - 5

    Suspension in the front is with upside-down forks, while the rear suspension uses Honda Pro-Link system and has five-position adjustment. Braking is with single discs front and rear, with the front caliper using two pistons.

    Fuel is carried in a 14.5-litre tank, and seat height is set at 790 mm. The front headlights are twin-LED units, giving the fairing cowl a slim, sharp appearance.

    There are three colour options – Racing Red, Anchor Grey metallic and Matte Gunpowder metallic. The CBR250RR also features what Honda calls a “layered cowl”, designed to optimise the air-flow and aerodynamics of the bike.

    In Indonesia, two models will be offered: non-ABS for 63-68 million rupiah (RM19.5k-21k), and the ABS version from 69-70 million rupiah (around RM21,500). According to Honda, the 2016 Honda CBR250RR will only be released in Japan later this year.

     
  • 2016 Kawasaki Z125 Pro recalled for faulty shock

    2016 Kawasaki Z125 Pro EFI (3)

    Recall notice number MC16-04 has been filed with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by Kawasaki US for the 2016 Kawasaki Z125 Pro mini-moto for a faulty rear shock absorber.

    According to the filing, 1,282 units of the Z125 Pro manufactured between February 4 to June 7, 2016, may have been fitted with rear shock that may leak. The leak may cause loss of function of the absorber, thereby increasing the risk of a crash. Z125 Pro owners in the US will be notified by Kawasaki US, and can have the shock absorber replaced at a Kawasaki dealer, free-of-charge.

    Also available in Malaysia, the 2016 Kawasaki Z125 Pro comes with a 125 cc, single-cylinder, four-valve SOHC air-cooled engine that produces 9.8 PS at 8,000 rpm, and 9.6 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. Fuelled by EFI, this mini-moto rolls on 12-inch wheels that – coupled with its short wheelbase – gives it quick handling.

    Retailing at RM10,435 inclusive of GST, the 2016 Kawasaki Z125 Pro is targetted at the younger rider wanting a quick, small motorcycle with trendy looks. Only one colour option is available in Malaysia – Burnt Candy Orange.

    We are in contact with Kawasaki Motors Malaysia to find out if any Malaysian units are affected and will post an update if necessary.

     
  • Caltex Delo 400 MGX diesel engine oil launched in Malaysia – claimed 80,000 km drain interval

    Caltex Delo 400 MGX SAE launch 1

    Chevron Malaysia today officially launched the new Caltex Delo 400 MGX SAE 15W-40 diesel engine oil to meet the needs of Malaysian commercial industry players in the country. With the new lubricant, customers are now able to utilise just one heavy duty engine oil that operates efficiently with both high- and low-sulphur diesel fuels.

    “The oil and gas industry in Malaysia produces a mix of low and high sulphur diesel fuel which ranges between 15 and 5000 parts per million (ppm). The introduction of the Caltex Delo 400 MGX SAE 15W-40 is proof of our commitment and goal to providing customers with ground-breaking products, which not only boost performance, but reduce operating costs as well, while keeping their diesel equipment operating reliably,” said Lennard Kwek, Asia Pacific marketing manager, Chevron Lubricants.

    The new engine oil features ISOSYN Technology additives in its formulation to provide excellent soot dispersancy, along with wear protection and sludge control to help protect against loss of engine life and excessive oil consumption. Being a multi-grade oil, customers will also benefit from not requiring multiple diesel engine oils to service their vehicles.

    Furthermore, Caltex Delo 400 MGX adheres to the latest American Petroleum Institute (API) specification as well as many American and European Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEM) approvals. The company also claims that the lubricant has an 80,000 km drain interval, which should help reduce operating costs.

    Priced at RM9.50 per litre, the newly-launched Caltex Delo 400 MGX SAE 15W-40 is currently available in drum packaging through the company’s official distributors here.

     
  • Taxi fare hike acceptable if rates reasonable – FOMCA

    Malaysia-Taxi-01

    Increases in taxi fares will be accepted by consumers, as long as they are regulated by meter and are reasonable, said senior vice president of the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (FOMCA) Datuk Koris Atan.

    “The majority of consumers are ready to pay the amounts displayed on the fare meters even if there is a raise. The problem lies with taxi drivers who refuse to use the meter and overcharges passengers,” Koris told TheSun Daily.

    Koris cited UK-based website London Cabs, which rated KL cabbies as the worst in the world in a survey last year. He adds that he has taken cabs in over 60 countries but has only been cheated once, unlike back home in Malaysia.

    “Just recently, I took a taxi from Puduraya to Brickfields and the driver wanted to charge me RM50 for the journey!” Koris suggested that taxi drivers who break the law be immediately sacked or at the very least have their licenses revoked for such breach of conduct.

    uber cash payment

    Taxi fares are set to be revised, as part of a plan to streamline taxi operations in the country. A revamp of Teksi 1Malaysia (TEKS1M) is part of 11 initiatives proposed by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), which will help drivers of these taxis own individual taxi permits.

    A senior government official told the local daily that the overhaul will be based on a dynamic fare structure, and may include the installation of new taxi meters with GPS for performance assessment. This rate will only apply to conventional taxis, the source added. App-based services from transportation network companies such as Grab and Uber will not be subjected to the regulated fare rate.

    He added that surge pricing – essentially, automatic higher fare rates when the demand for taxis is high – that is currently practised by TNCs will continue to be allowed, and may also apply to conventional taxis. “Consumers will decide which is more attractive to use – conventional taxis or Uber,” he said. In March last year, the government announced new metered taxi fare.

    The budget taxi flag-down rate in the Klang Valley remained at RM3 (RM4 in Penang) as before the hike, but time and distance rates were increased to 25 sen for every 200 metres or and/or every 36 seconds. The flag-down rate for Teksi1Malaysia (brown Proton Exora or Toyota Innova) was revised to RM4, with a distance cost of 30 sen for every 200 metres.

     
  • SPIED: Next-generation Mercedes-Benz G-Class – similar looks, but set for 400 kg weight reduction

    Merc-G-Wagen-spied---3

    This, folks, is the next-generation Gelandewagen, or Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen as most will call it. Spotted earlier here, it appears largely the same as the current model, but according to our European spy photographers, the test mule spotted here is apparently wider than the existing G-Class by about 10 cm, which will be great news for occupants. Off-roading enthusiasts, though, may not be so keen on the added girth when negotiating obstacles.

    Most other customers, and the off-roaders too, should be happy with the estimated 400 kg reduction in weight compared to the curent G-Class, if the rumours come true. Being an all-new model, a fully revamped interior can be expected, as can select items from the latest E-Class, which will bring the 4X4 right up to date in technology.

    Merc-G-Wagen-spied---9

    Under the skin, the next G-Class can be expected to carry forward the 4.0 litre turbocharged V8 petrols, as already seen in the G 500 and G 500 4×4², though perhaps with higher outputs. Mercedes’ 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission can be expected as the powerplants’ pairing, too.

    As before, the G-Class will be built by manufacturing partner Magna in Graz, Austria when the next-generation model comes to production. Those who still want the G-Class in its current form later in the future still have some hope; our photographer sources heard that the current model might still be built alongside the new one in a more simplified form.

     
  • 2016 Honda Accord Hybrid officially launched in Thailand – Honda Sensing safety suite, from RM193k

    2016 Honda Accord Hybrid Thailand launch 1

    Honda Thailand has officially launched the new Honda Accord Hybrid, a few months after the refreshed model made its global debut back in April. Two variants are offered to Thai customers – 2.0 Hybrid and 2.0 Hybrid Tech – priced at 1,659,000 baht (RM192,691) and 1,849,000 baht (RM214,782), respectively.

    The hybrid powertrain here consist of a revised 2.0 litre four-cylinder i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle petrol engine that develops 145 hp and 175 Nm. This is boosted by new electric motors for the car’s two-motor i-MMD hybrid system, powered by a 1.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, with a maximum output of 184 hp and 315 Nm. Overall, the total system output available is 215 hp, with power sent through an E-CVT. The powertrain also comes with four operating modes.

    In “Hybrid Drive” mode, the petrol engine powers a second motor/generator to recharge the more compact lithium ion battery pack, while an electric propulsion motor actually drives the wheels. “Engine Drive” mode brings the combustion engine into play, using a lock-up clutch mechanism to connect the engine and propulsion motor, the front wheels are driven by both the motor and petrol engine.

    Moving on, there’s “EV Drive” mode, which allows for all-electric driving for short distances (engine switched off) up to maximum top speed of 120 km/h. For those more concerned about a sporty drive rather than fuel efficiency, there is “Sport Drive Mode.”

    2016 Honda Accord Hybrid Thailand launch 2

    Visually, the new model adopts the same exterior updates as the facelifted Accord. However, the Accord Hybrid gets model-specific badges on its body, different wheels and blue accents on the LED headlamps and tail lamps. Four colours are offered – Grey Modern Steel, Lunar Silver, White Orchid Pearl and Black Crystal Pearl, with the last two costing a little more.

    Similar to the exterior, the Accord Hybrid gains the same trim and equipment upgrades as the facelifted non-hybrid Accord. Standard kit include eight-way power seats (with memory), push start, 7.7-inch multi-info display, electronic parking brake and 7-inch touchscreen audio with Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink for smartphones and WiFi hotspot.

    A new addition to the cabin is the “EV Mode” button, which is located on the right side of the centre console. Customers will also have a choice of three interior colours, depending on the exterior paint chosen – beige, black and brown.

    2016 Honda Accord Hybrid Thailand launch 3

    As for safety, the Honda Sensing suite is only available on the range-topping 2.0 Hybrid Tech. The suite includes Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collission Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keeping Assist System.

    In terms of warranty, Honda Thailand provides a 10-year warranty on the battery and a 5-year warranty on the entire Honda Hybrid system with no limit on mileage. Additionally, the company is also offering a limited-time Privilege Package to extend the warranty period of the car for an additional two years or 40,000 km, which means total coverage of five years or 140,000 km. Also provided is a five-year or 100,000 km free maintenance package for customers who buy a new Honda Accord Hybrid.

    With the launch of the new Accord Hybrid in Thailand, would you want Honda Malaysia to introduce the new Accord Hybrid here as an alternative to the Toyota Camry Hybrid?




     
  • Honda Malaysia sets up own hubs for airbag change – RM50 per day compensation while waiting

    Honda airbag

    Honda Malaysia (HM) has issued an update on the Takata airbag recall issue. HM is now literally taking matters into its own hands by setting up Service Central Hubs (SCH) and Mobile Hubs (MH) to replace airbags for affected cars.

    This initiative is “to help alleviate Honda dealers’ limited service capacities for Takata airbag inflator replacement activity, and to make it more convenient for customers to reach servicing venues.”

    The three temporary SCH (northern, central and southern) will open from August 1 to September 30, and will operate seven days a week except public holidays, from 8am to 7pm. Customers can book a slot by calling the 1800-88-2020. Due to the multiple recalls for driver and passenger front airbags inflators, HM will prioritise the driver airbag inflator based on parts availability.

    Honda Mobile Hubs 1

    Click to enlarge

    Honda Mobile Hubs 2
    Click to enlarge

    HM will also supplement the SCH with a total of 24 Mobile Hubs that will be set up at 21 selected Petron service stations and three Honda Family Road Trip locations. These MH will open from August 5 until September 25, and will be operational every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at three different locations from 8am to 7pm. Locations and dates can be viewed in the pics above.

    In addition, HM has also formed Mobile Teams to support the SCH and MH, and to further expedite Takata airbag inflator replacement activity. The hubs and teams will be staffed by trained Honda associates from the company’s Melaka plant.

    Honda Malaysia Airbag Compensation

    Click to enlarge

    These teams will visit used car dealers to check the status of used Honda cars being sold and, if required, the airbag inflators will be changed immediately to ensure that the airbag inflators in the affected used Honda cars are replaced properly before they are sold to new owners. Buyers of used Honda cars are advised to check their vehicle status at www.honda.com.my or www.productrecall.honda.com.my.

    There’s more. HM will be providing compensation of RM50 per day for “loss of use of car” for affected cars waiting for airbag replacement. The compensation period begins on July 28 and ends on August 31. To be eligible, owners of affected cars must register at www.productrecall.honda.com.my. Upon arrival of the replacement parts, the registered customers will be notified and advised to replace the airbag inflators within two days. Further details are available at the website linked above.

    For those with affected cars, please take action immediately and do share this latest update with Honda owners. The full press release is attached below for further reading.


    Click to enlarge

     
  • Tesla driver was speeding in fatal Autopilot crash

    Tesla-Model-S-Blue

    In a preliminary report by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), it was revealed that the driver killed in the recent Autopilot crash of a Tesla Model S, was speeding. The NTSB said in its initial findings that the car was travelling 119 km/h in a 105 km/h zone during the time of the accident.

    During the May 7 incident, Joshua Brown was killed when his Tesla, with Autopilot engaged, drove under a tractor trailer, colliding with the windshield of the electric vehicle. According to a police report, the vehicle’s roof “was torn off by the force of the collision.”

    The authorities has already confirmed that the Model S’ Autopilot system was active during the incident, which features Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and AutoSteer lane-keeping assistance. “Speeding alone would not be considered the cause of a vehicle crash, but could be a contributing factor,” said NTSB spokesman Christopher O’Neil in a report by Automotive News.

    Ever since the fatality, Tesla is currently facing a separate investigation by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine if the system worked according to expectations, and if it poses an unreasonable risk to driver safety.

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently came out to clarify the carmaker’s use of the term “beta” in reference to his company’s Autopilot system. In several Twitter posts, Musk explained that the system comes with an explicit warning to ensure that drivers are ready to take over controls if needed. He added that the system would need to record at least one billion miles of real-world driving before it can leave the “beta” phase.

     
 

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