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  • Aug 2015 fuel prices: RON 95, 97, diesel down 10 sen

    2013_Toyota_Vios_fuel_test 001

    Good news! Fuel prices for the month of August 2015 have been announced, and it turns out that the cost of all grades of fuel have been cut by 10 sen.

    As such, come midnight, RON 95 petrol will be priced at RM2.05 per litre, RON 97 petrol at RM2.45 per litre (inclusive of 6% GST), diesel at RM1.95 and Euro 5 diesel at RM2.05. This compares favourably to current prices of RM2.15 per litre for RON 95 petrol, RM2.55 per litre for RON 97 petrol, RM2.05 for diesel and RM2.15 for Euro 5 diesel.

    Before you rejoice at the lower RON 97 petrol price and head out for a fresh tank of high-octane fuel, be sure to read our real-world fuel test comparing the two petrol grades.

     
  • Don’t believe in fuel price hike rumours – KPDNKK

    RON-95-Petrol

    It’s the end of the month, and as usual, “news” about impending fuel price hikes have gone viral. Today, we have seen one saying that the price of RON 95 petrol will go up by 15 sen, with a 20 sen increase for RON 97 and diesel.

    UPDATE: Good news! Fuel prices for the month of August 2015 have been announced, and it turns out that the cost of all grades of fuel have been cut by 10 sen. As such, come midnight, RON 95 petrol will be priced at RM2.05 per litre, RON 97 petrol at RM2.45 per litre (inclusive of 6% GST), diesel at RM1.95 and Euro 5 diesel at RM2.05.

    The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has come out to urge the public to not be influenced by such rumours, the New Straits Times reports. The KPDNKK’s new minister, Datuk Hamzah Zainudin, said his ministry was not involved in pricing the fuel. “The ministry does not decide the new price for RON95, RON97 and diesel.

    PENAFIANUntuk makluman, pihak KPDNKK tidak pernah mengeluarkan sebarang kenyataan berkenaan perubahan harga baru…

    Posted by KPDNKK on Friday, 31 July 2015

    “We at the ministry give our input and look in terms of acceptance whether the price of petrol and diesel should increase or not. Hence, we do not know the new price (of fuel) as claimed by certain parties,” he told reporters today.

    The retail price for petrol and diesel is set by the Finance Ministry using a managed float system. Under the system, retail prices will be based on the monthly average global price of crude oil. KPDNKK used to announce fuel prices at the end of every month, but that has stopped since June, announced by former minister Datuk Hasan Malek.

     
  • SPAD reveals Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) fare structure

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    The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has announced that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) fares for the Klang Valley have been approved by the Cabinet. The new fare structure begins with a basic cost of 90 sen, to which a travel-per-kilometre fare is added, Bernama reports.

    The fare structure begins at 90 sen for the basic cost, and adds 81.5 sen for the first six kilometres of travel. From six to 12 km, another 51.3 sen is added, and another 42.1 sen covers travel between 12 km to 18 km.

    From 18 km to 24 km, an additional 28.2 sen is added to the total, and a final 21.2 sen covers any distance more than 24 km. This means that the maximum BRT travel fare is RM3.15 per ticket.

    electric_bus_for_brtsunway

    The commission said through a statement that the fare structure sets the maximum allowable fares for BRT services and as such, individual operators are not allowed to impose fares exceeding the fare structure.

    Currently, only the BRT Sunway Line is operational, and at 5.4 km-long for the entire route, the fare for the all-electric bus service works out to RM1.70 (rounded up). The line – operated by Prasarana – covers seven station, two of which will integrate with the Setia Jaya KTM and upcoming USJ 7 Kelana Jaya LRT stations.

    It was also stated that at the current rate of utilisation (around 2,400 riders per hour this year), the fare structure would not be able cover BRT Sunway Line’s running costs. To ensure that consumers would benefit from paying low fares, the government has approved an annual operational subsidy not exceeding RM14 million for the first three years to Prasarana.

     
  • VIDEO: New Mazda range ad hints of what’s to come

    Mazda Australia has revealed a new 45-second commercial depicting its range of fresh new models. Although us Malaysians are not quite there yet, official distributor Bermaz is poised to add the missing links – the new CX-3 B-segment crossover and MX-5 roadster – in the fourth quarter of the year, so this is sort of a sneak peek at what we can expect.

    Though not explicitly pointed out in the video, the ad clearly references Mazda’s jinba ittai (horse and rider as one) concept – it starts off with a man riding on his equine companion, before being transported into the bucket seats of the MX-5. He speeds off into the distance, wearing a great big grin all the way; as we all would, wouldn’t we?

    And then he’s joined by the rest of the fleet – CX-3, CX-5 and CX-9 crossovers to his left, Mazda 2, 3 and 6 to his right; all resplendent in gorgeous Soul Red Metallic. It’s a striking, confident display of what is arguably Hiroshima’s strongest product lineup yet.

    One thing to note, however, for us – even after our range is completed by the end of the year, we still wouldn’t quite be able to pull off an ad like this, for one simple reason – both the Mazda 3 and CX-5 are no longer available in Soul Red. That’s just too bad…

    Mazda MX-5


    Mazda CX-3

     
  • VIDEO: Porsche imagines a sporty, efficient future

    “It’s about nothing less than proving that efficiency and sports performance can go hand in hand,” claims Porsche in its new video. Meant to detail the German carmaker’s E-Mobility philosophy, the three minute-long clip shows off the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Panamera S E-Hybrid and 918 Spyder – all three models are plug-in hybrids, in case you weren’t aware of said fact.

    Naturally, the marque’s Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid race machine makes an appearance alongside the aforementioned road models. Powered by a 2.0 litre, direct-injected V4 engine paired to a lithium-ion battery-powered hybrid motor, the Porsche 919 Hybrid made its competitive debut in 2014 before going on to win the 83rd iteration of the fabled endurance race, gifting Porsche its 17th Le Mans victory and first in 17 years.

    Elsewhere, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid was launched alongside its conventionally-powered siblings in Malaysia with an entry price of RM770,000. Said SUV is powered by a 3.0 litre V6 petrol engine mated to an electric motor for a total power output of 416 hp and 590 Nm of torque. We’ve also driven the Panamera S E-Hybrid in Singapore earlier this year while the 918 Spyder made a special local appearance in May.

    GALLERY: Porsche 918 Spyder in Malaysia

     
  • Max Verstappen to sit for driving test and keep sharp with simulator racing over the summer break

    Max Verstappen

    In a typical example of a reality check, Max Verstappen, the Formula One rookie is now on a mission – a mission to pass his driving test. That is, after finishing fourth in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

    The 17-year-old Toro Rosso driver, who is still not old enough to drive in his homeland Belgium, will now use the one-month summer break to get up to speed for his driving test. Verstappen will turn 18 in September, and according to the driving laws in Belgium, he’ll need at least six to seven hours of driving as a requirement to pass the tests.

    Apart from that, he’s also joining a Simulator Racing Team, specifically Team Redline, and it has been revealed that the Toro Rosso driver will be racing for them over the F1 summer break to stay sharp.

    “I enjoy simulator racing outside of Formula One,” said Max. “I’ve been working with Atze for a while already and of course with Team Redline and Fanatec I’ll be sharing the virtual track with the fastest simulator racers in the world, which is a great test and the way I like it!” said Verstappen.

    Game on 😏 who wouldn't want this?! #playseat #redbull #F1

    A photo posted by Max Verstappen (@maxverstappen1) on

    It has been a meteoric rise for the Toro Rosso driver, and he was over the moon with the fourth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Verstappen, son of the former Benetton driver Jos who partnered the legendary Michael Schumacher, never expected to finish up as high as he did.

    Speaking to the UK’s Guardian, he said, “when the race restarted after the safety car period there was a lot going on, with cars crashing in front of me, so with a few laps to go I was asking my engineer in what position we were in and when he said P4 I just couldn’t believe it. I’m very, very happy.”

    Well, let’s just hope he passes his driving test during the break, because if he doesn’t, things could get a bit awkward in the paddock once he returns to the fold.

     
  • VIDEO: Ford GT secret shakedown long before debut

    Ford will return to Le Mans in 2016 with the all-new Ford GT supercar that will compete in the LM GTE Pro Class, and it’ll be exactly 50 years since Ford’s overall victory in 1966 at the famed track.

    The video above shows the first shakedown of the Ford GT as it goes through a battery of tests. It sounds absolutely glorious. There are many more videos that are circulating online, and the gearshifts sound absolutely brutal too.

    There will be four Ford GTs that will compete next year under the ‘Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates’ banner, with two scheduled for the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship in the US and another two slated for participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

    This first official test essentially started off the ‘Road to Daytona”, where Ford along with its partners Multimatic, CGR and Roush Yates Engines came together to get the formidable vehicle ready for the GT’s first 24-hour race, the 24 Hours of Daytona.

     
  • JD Power 2015 Malaysia Customer Service Index – dealers not meeting expectations; Mazda, MMC tops

    jd power csi 2015 msia 01

    Findings from the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2015 Malaysia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study show a trend – Malaysian vehicles owners are expecting more out of their dealer service experience, but authorised service centres are struggling to keep pace with their rising demands.

    The study, now in its 13th year, measures overall service satisfaction among owners who took their vehicle to an authorised service centre for service maintenance and/or repair work during the first 12 to 24 months of ownership. Service satisfaction is rated for mass market brands, so the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus are not included.

    The study evaluates new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the service experience by examining dealership performance in five factors (in order of importance): service quality (32%); service initiation (22%); vehicle pick-up (18%); service advisor (15%); and service facility (13%).

    Click to enlarge

    Satisfaction among mass market brands averages 749 index points (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2015, which is a five-point decline from 2014. Customers are expecting to receive a higher level of service, overall satisfaction averaging 815 among the 12% of customers who indicate they had a “better-than-expected” service experience, compared with 842 in 2014.

    The greatest drop in satisfaction is in service facility, where satisfaction has declined to 773 in 2015 from 785 in 2014. Ease of approach to and convenience of service centres contribute to the decline in satisfaction in the service facility factor. Among the 3% of customers who indicate having a “worse-than-expected” service experience, overall satisfaction is 558, down from 590 in 2014.

    “Clearly, customer expectations are on the rise; hence, it is critical for service centres to provide a positive experience throughout, from service initiation, which is gaining importance, to delivering the vehicle back to customers, while remaining focused on delivering service quality,” said Rajaswaran Tharmalingam, Malaysia country head at J.D. Power Asia Pacific.

    The study also demonstrates the importance of satisfying customers to improve loyalty and repeat visits. Among mass market brand owners who are highly satisfied with their service experience (815 points up), 42% say they “definitely would” revisit their dealer for post-warranty service, compared with 12% of those who are highly disappointed (698 or lower).

    Click to enlarge

    “Service centres must strive to always enhance their service standards, specifically in offering the value-added standards to their customers. This is precisely what delights customers with their service experience,” Rajaswaran added.

    Now, how did each brand do? Top of the league is Mazda at 774 points, just one point ahead of Mitsubishi at 773. J.D. Power says that Mazda performs particularly well in the service initiation and service quality factors. Honda completes the podium with 760 points, ahead of fellow Japanese big boys Nissan (758) and Toyota (756). As for national brands, Perodua is above the 749-point mass market average at 753, while Proton is far behind with 726.

    The 2015 Malaysia CSI Study is based on responses from 2,812 new owners who purchased their mass market brand vehicle between February 2013 and May 2014 and took their vehicle for service to an authorised service centre between August 2014 and May 2015. The study was fielded between February and May 2015. Agree with what you see?

     
  • Proton Iriz R3 touring car teased again with interior

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    The development of the Proton Iriz R3 touring car appears to be progressing – Proton Motorsports has released three new images of the little race car as the team scrambles to complete it in time for Round 4 of the Malaysian Championship Series (née Malaysian Super Series) on August 28 to 30.

    Much has changed from the last time we’ve seen the car – the addition of the race-spec 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated Campro IAFM engine, a Forged Racing radiator, a dashboard, a Sparco removable steering wheel, a Recaro racing seat, a Tonnka floor-mounted three-pedal box and the familiar Iriz front fascia makes the touring car look much more track-ready.

    11816067_878988528816369_1802592233411762273_o

    To recap, the Iriz touring car – built according to 1,600 cc Malaysian Touring Car specifications for MCS – is claimed to push out as much as 190 hp (that’s 119 hp per litre without a turbo!), sent through a close-ratio five-speed manual transmission (probably the same dog-engagement unit as its Suprima S cousin) to the front wheels.

    Other mouth-watering components include a six-point roll cage (as per regulations), Öhlins adjustable suspension and large Alcon disc brakes. Again, we can’t wait to see what it looks like!

     
  • Uber cars destroyed in Mexico City amidst protests

    It would appear that the crisis surrounding international transportation network company, Uber, and local taxi drivers has taken a turn for the worse – at least in Mexico City. On July 28, Uber vehicles were violently attacked by a group of armed individuals within the vicinity of the Mexico City International Airport.

    According to reports by The Guardian and the International Business Times, parties involved in the assault “accused Uber of operating from taxi stands designated for traditional cabs authorised by the government.” A video clip of the incident details the fracas with individuals seen pelting eggs and flour onto Uber vehicles.

    The clip also captures video evidence of rowdy individuals smashing a car’s rear window with a boulder and prying off a car’s side mirror along with one nasty scene whereby a man is seen shattering a window of an Uber car with what looks like a metal rod.

    uber-cars-destroyed-mexico-city-protests-2

    Said attacks were believed to have occurred just a day before licensed taxi drivers in Mexico took to the streets to protest against the popular app-based service. Earlier in July, Mexico City became the first Latin American city to regulate Uber, with a 1.5% ride levy and an annual permit fee introduced. The move was interpreted by taxi drivers as the local government bending over to the demands of Uber.

    “What happened yesterday was a very serious incident that we condemn. Violence is unacceptable. We invite everyone to have a dialogue and we’re open to working with authorities and taxi associations to benefit citizens,” commented Lorena Villarreal, communications manager for Uber in Latin America.

    Taxi Drivers Protest Against GrabCar 6

    As violent as the clashes were, Uber has stated that none of the drivers were gravely injured – between 10 to 12 cars have been reported to be damaged. As for what caused the incident in the first place, reports are indicating that members of the mob became unruly after discovering that Uber vehicles were parked nearby the airport as they waited for customers to summon them – effectively depriving other taxi drivers of fares.

    In Malaysia, it was announced that Land Public Transport Act 2010 will be amended to allow the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) the authority to take action against transportation network companies such as Uber and Grabcar. For more info, check out our earlier story here as well as a video of a protest held not long ago by the Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (PERS1M).

     
 

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