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  • 2022 Renault Zoe EV in Malaysia – two variants, up to 395 km range; from RM163k to RM175k on-the-road

    Renault Malaysia has revealed pricing for the Renault Zoe fully electric hatchback, which arrives in Malaysia for the 2022 model year starting from RM163,000 on-the-road without insurance.

    The Zoe is listed with two variants for our market; the Zoe Zen R110, the base variant, and the Zoe Intens R135, which is priced at RM175,000 on-the-road without insurance.

    Listed as tentative specifications on a price list provided on the Renault Malaysia website, both variants drive the front wheels and pack a 52 kWh battery, with the Zen R110 variant getting a 110 PS/225 Nm electric motor and a WLTP-rated battery range of 395 km, while the more powerful Intens R135 gets a 135 PS/245 Nm motor which drops its range slightly to 386 km.

    Charging times for the 2022 Renault Zoe are three hours from 0-100% at 22 kW AC via a Type 2 connection, while charging at 7.4 kW via a Type 2 connection will take 9.5 hours. Meanwhile, using a DC 50 kW facility with a CCS2 connection will enable a 0-80% state of charge in 70 minutes.

    To maximise range, the Zoe is equipped with a B-mode for greater energy recuperation and to enable one-pedal driving. There is also an eco-meter to show to driver when the car is consuming or recovering energy, while an Eco mode helps to improve energy consumption by taking control of features which may consume more energy. The climate control also has a pre-conditioning feature to pre-set the cabin temperature before occupant get on board.

    Exterior equipment for the 2022 Zoe in Malaysia include Pure Vision full-LED headlamps with C-shaped DRLs on both variants, which are complemented by dynamic turn signals. Rolling stock on both variants is a set of 16-inch alloy wheels, shod in tyres measuring 195/55. The units are of a single-tone finish on the Zen R110, while the Intens R135 gets a diamond-cut finish.

    For interior kit, the 2022 Zoe for Malaysia gets as standard a 10-inch customisable driver instrument panel, and an Easy Link seven-inch touchscreen with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Device connectivity includes Bluetooth, two USB ports and an auxiliary audio connection, while audio output is via a six-speaker setup.

    The higher trim variant that is the Intens R135 adds offline navigation capability and rear seat USB charging ports, automatic climate control, an electrochromic rear view mirror, and a reverse camera.

    Electrically adjustable mirrors on the base Zen R110 gains power folding on the Intens R135, which also gets front and rear parking sensors whereas the base variant gets rear sensors only. In terms of interior trim, the Zen R110 gets black fabric upholstery, while the Intens R135 gains a black leather-cloth combination.

    For safety, both variants of the 2022 Zoe get as standard lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive high beam, stability control, traction control, ABS, brake assist, and hill start assist. Both variants also get four airbags (dual front and dual side units), while the Intens R135 variant adds blind spot warning.

    The 2022 Renault Zoe in Malaysia is available in Black and Solid White for the Zen R110 variant, and in Black, Blue, Purple or Red for the Intens R135 variant.

    GALLERY: 2022 Renault Zoe

     
  • Mercedes-Benz Operating System to replace current MBUX in upcoming vehicles – to be released in 2024

    Mercedes-Benz has announced it partnership with software developer, Unity Technologies, to develop a new operating system for its vehicles, plainly called the Mercedes-Benz Operating System or MB.OS. The new MB.OS system replaces the current MBUX system and will be rolled out in new vehicles across the Mercedes-Benz range from 2024.

    Mercedes-Benz developers will partner the company behind the software at the heart of Pokemon Go to create a new user interface and more immersive user experience for the entire digital cockpit. This includes the instrument cluster, media and passenger displays.

    With Unity’s expertise in the area of 3D real-time software, MB.OS will feature intuitive and visually-engaging experiences with 3D avatars serving as “digital butlers”, along with 3D maps, and augmented reality features. Its artificial intelligence systems, on the other hand, can adjust vehicle settings and characteristics to suit the user’s preferences.

    The new MB.OS was first previewed in the EQXX Concept in 2019, on a 47.5-inch one-piece 8K LED display, spanning across the dasboard. It’s capable of linking the vehicle with cloud services and the Internet of Things (IoT). The system will also allow users to access four central domains of the vehicle, mainly the powertrain, autonomous driving, infotainment along with body and comfort systems.

    “For the first time, we’ve used a game engine to elevate the user interface to the next level of digital luxury. The visuals are like nothing you’ve ever seen before in the car industry,” said Magnus Ostberg, chief software engineer, Mercedes Benz.

    On a related note, the EQXX Concept recently made headlines after it clocked 1,008 km on a full charge, after being driven continuously without stopping for 11 hours and 32 minutes. Averaging 8.7 kWh/100 km, it still had 140 km of electric driving range to spare after its incredible feat.

     

  • Car spare parts prices in Malaysia up by between 25% and 60% due to current global supply issues – report

    The prices of car spare parts have gone up by between 25% and 60% in Malaysia, according to a report by The Star. Local associations say this is a result of global supply being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the situation being made worse by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict as well as the United States-China trade war.

    “There is a shortage of spare parts, especially for cars made in Europe. This has caused prices to increase by about 25%,” said Automotive Accessories Traders Association of Malaysia president Lim Bee Choo.

    She added that Europe was currently facing an energy crisis after Russia suspended its supply to the continent following the European Union’s sanctions, which has limited the operations of factories in the continent.

    “A lot of the components for cars made in Japan and South Korea are made in China, so this policy is affecting supply,” Lim explained further, referring to China’s strict zero-Covid policy that sees lockdowns in the event of an outbreak. These components also include engine oils and tyres, which have also gone up in price due to the current global situation.

    Meanwhile, Malaysia Automotive Prosper Entrepreneurs Association president Mohd Karim A. Rahman said the prices of spare parts have gone up by as much as 60% depending on the parts that needed replacing. Echoing Lim’s statement, he added that besides parts, the price of tyres, engine oil and lubricants has also increased by between 10% and 15%. “The price of lubricant usually goes up only 2% to 3% every two to three years, but this year the price has gone up twice,” he said.

    Mohd Karim also noted that considering the price hikes, mechanics would discuss pricing with customers first before ordering spare parts. “Usually, it will take about a week for us to order the parts from our supplier but nowadays, it would take a month for the parts to arrive,” he explained, adding that customers would bear any higher prices.

    While it may be tempting to find cheaper parts online, Mohd Karim cautioned vehicle owners to be wary of the quality of the product being sold, as imitation parts may cause harm to vehicles in the long run.

    As a vehicle owner, has the cost of servicing your car or having parts replaced gone up? Share your experience in the comments below.

     
  • Hyundai Staria to get 10-seat variant in Malaysia soon?

    The Hyundai Staria was first launched in Malaysia back in October 2021 and is currently being offered in a sole 2.2D Premium variant priced at RM366,768 on-the-road without insurance. The 2.2D Premium is a seven-seater, but it looks like it will soon be joined by a 10-seat variant, according to these spyshots.

    Judging by the photos, the 10-seat version comes with a different kit list when compared to the 2.2D Premium. A look inside the interior reveals a more basic head unit instead of an eight-inch touchscreen, along with simpler air-conditioning controls and a gear lever instead of buttons for the transmission. Leather upholstery and a digital instrument cluster appear to be items carried over.

    As for the exterior, the wide-width front grille has a different design that is body-coloured and doesn’t feature a fancy finish or textured trim piece. The headlamps also appear to be halogen-type units instead of LEDs as is standard on the 2.2D Premium.

    On the matter of seats, the people mover version of the Staria comes with four rows of seats arranged in a 2-3-2-3 seat layout, with the front row featuring a centre console that folds down. Ceiling air vents are still present, although you won’t find an Alcantara headliner here.

    We don’t know what powers the 10-seater, but it will likely get the same 2.2 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel rated at 177 PS and 431 Nm of torque and paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission sending drive to the front wheels.

    With a lighter kit list and more seats, this version of the Staria could be aimed at customers who want more seating capacity but don’t necessarily want all the fancy features of the 2.2D Premium. The 10-seat Staria could also be a replacement for the current Grand Starex which is an 11-seater – people mover configurations are popular with businesses such as hotels and tour operators.

    The Grand Starex is classified as a commercial vehicle and is still being sold in Executive Plus guise at RM165,888. We’ll have to wait and see when and if Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) introduces a new Staria variant, and more importantly, how much it’ll cost.

    GALLERY: Hyundai Staria 2.2D Premium

     
  • 2022 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan in Malaysia – full gallery of CKD model, RM5k less than CBU, RM344k

    Launched in June this year, here’s a comprehensive gallery of the CKD version of the Mercedes-AMG A 35 Sedan, which is priced at RM343,888 on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of SST.

    By comparison, the CKD version costs RM5k less than the CBU version launched in 2019 – priced at RM348,888, also inclusive of SST. The arrival of the CKD A 35 Sedan means that the entire A-Class Sedan range, which also includes the A 200 Progressive Line and A 250 AMG Line, is now locally assembled.

    The A 35 Sedan is powered by a M260 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a seven-speed AMG Speedshift 7G dual-clutch transmission to drive all four wheels via an AMG Performance 4Matic system. The 0-100 km/h sprint is done in 4.8 seconds and the top speed is capped at 250 km/h.

    As you’d expect with the CKD model, there are a few add-ons previously not available in the CBU version. The CKD AMG A 35 now comes with the Parking package with a 360-degree camera, a head-up display, and AMG steering controls. The new AMG A 35 also gets wireless charging, the MBUX Interior Assistant and Keyless-Go Comfort package.

    Notable items in the cabin include an AMG Performance steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather, a Burmester surround sound system, 64-colour ambient lighting, AMG door sills and floor mats, dual 10.25-inch digital displays, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

    The rest of it is similar to before; with the exterior furnished with 19-inch AMG 5-twin-spoke alloys, an AMG body kit, and Multibeam LED headlamps with Adaptive High Beam Assist Plus. Colour options include Polar White, Cosmos Black, Iridium Silver, Mountain Grey and Denim Blue.

     
  • Pak Cik Shell shows why you shouldn’t be in a fuel tanker truck’s blind spots – the driver cannot see you

    Earlier this month, a video of a fuel tanker truck colliding with a Perodua Myvi went viral on social media. In the short clip, the driver of the Myvi had entered the blind spot of the fuel tanker truck as it attempted to join the road, which resulted in the driver of the massive vehicle being unable to spot the hatchback and both making contact.

    It’s an unfortunate (and costly) accident, and the lesson here is to be cautious when being around large commercial vehicles such as a fuel tanker truck. The blind spots of such vehicles are a lot more substantial compared to a regular passenger vehicle, as Shell Malaysia Trading managing director Shairan Huzani Husain, who is also known affectionately as “Pak Cik Shell,” demonstrates in a video uploaded to his Instagram account.

    In the video, Pak Cik Shell climbs into a fuel tanker truck and shows a first-person view of what a driver sees from within the cab. It may look all clear looking out, but upon exiting, we find that there are several cars and motorcycles around the fuel tanker truck, with some being several feet away.

    Commercial trucks have four blind spots which are called “no zones,” and if you drive behind, directly in front or on either side of a truck, the driver cannot see your vehicle. So, please be careful and avoid overtaking such trucks on the left or being in its blind spot. Give them room if you can because it’s better to be safe than sorry.

     
  • KTMB Malaysia allows all bicycles on trains for free

    As of August, Malaysian cyclists are allowed to transport bicycles of any sort onboard Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTMB) trains with no fee. This was said by KTMB chief operating officer Mohd Zain Mat Taha during an officiating ceremony at the Seremban train station and reported by Sinar Harian.

    Mohd Zain said the initiative is to promote healthy living and encourage the public to lead a healthy lifestyle. “Previously, only folding bikes were allowed entry with a fee of RM2 being charged to the user. As of April 18 however, we announced that the fee would be scrapped,” said Mohd Zain.

    “On Aug 6, we allowed all types of bicycles to be brought onboard the commuter trains during non-peak hours and on weekends,” Mohd Zain said during the Seremban Cylo Tourism @ Terokai Seremban Dengan Basikal ceremony. He added KTMB is planning to promote cycling at locations in Selangor and Perak using commuter trains to get to the destination.

    Other initiatives by KTMB to combine cycling and train travel included a special coach charter service for cycling groups.

     
  • Malaysia to have drag racing circuits in all states

    A plan to build a drag racing circuit in every state in Malaysia has been mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Speaking during the 2022 RXZ Members 4.0 Programme at the Terengganu International Drag Strip, Sabri said the proposal will be included in Malaysia’s 2023 Budget this October.

    Reported by Bernama, Sabri said with the facility available, it would give youths the opportunity to participate in motor sports activities through proper channels. Via the programme, Sabri added, youth could gain knowledge, through training, courses and clinics and help in scouting new talents for participation in motor racing at the state and national level.

    “So far, two drag circuits have been built, in Terengganu and Melaka,” said Sabri, adding the government always support activities by motoring clubs, especially in helping help those affected by hardship, such as flood victims. “Many motoring clubs are involved in charity work…During the flood, they helped to clean houses of flood victims…Perhaps we can organise (a gathering of riders) every year and the government can provide sponsorship,” Sabri said.

     
  • Malaysian gov’t hoping to define a management framework for Vehicle End-of-Life policy by 2025

    The topic of implementing a vehicle end-of-life (ELV) policy in Malaysia has long been discussed and debated, with little in the way of resolution, simply because many factors and issues have come into play, and an ideal solution has always proved elusive.

    Now, the government believes it may be able to get ELV moving at some point in the future, and is looking at defining the first steps in that direction. As Bernama reports, the country is presently studying a suitable approach to implementing an ELV management policy, and is hoping to establishing that framework by 2025.

    This timeline was revealed by science, technology and innovation (MOSTI) minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the ELV Research Consortium, which is comprised of three universities, and Malaysia Automotive Recyclers Association (MAARA) earlier today.

    The collaboration between the three universities (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka) and MAARA aims to resolve the issues of ELV through recycling or upcycling. The parties aim to research and gather data on the remanufacturing, recycling, and disposal of used components from old vehicles.

    Adham said that the development of a management policy was important to ensure that the components and usable materials from old vehicles can be salvaged and simply not be left to waste away. “The excess of dilapidated vehicles = which also have resulted in dengue outbreaks – occur because there is yet a policy on the proper action that needs to be taken, with emphasis on the method of proper disposal,” he said.

    He also pointed out that the country is looking at Singapore and Japan in drafting its framework, as both countries had expertise in ELV recycling. He also highlighted that 70% of components from ELVs could be exported to other countries, in what could be a RM10 billion industry.

    As for an actual Vehicle End-of-Life policy, the matter is, as transport minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong put it some months back, not as simple as it sounds. The discussion of vehicle scrapping remains a touchy affair – as we pointed out before, while car companies would be for it, car buyers would be against the idea, wanting the freedom of choice of if and when to replace their cars. Still, it may yet be that the first steps towards that have been taken – we shall see.

     
  • Special parking area to be built along Jalan Temiang-Pantai for motorists – additional street lights proposed

    The Negeri Sembilan government, together with the state public works department (JKR), has identified a location along Jalan Temiang-Pantai to construct a parking lot.

    This was revealed by menteri besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun at a recent State Legislative Assembly sitting, as Bernama reports. He pointed out that aside from the proposed parking area, which will be located on privately-owned plot situated at an intersection near the scenic route, local authorities are also looking at other suitable areas to provide additional parking lots.

    Aminuddin was replying to a question from Temiang assemblyman, Ng Chin Tsai, on the status of the government’s proposal to build parking lots along the road. He added that aside from the parking lots, local JKR authorities are also making an application to erect additional street lights in the area under the Peninsular Malaysia Federal Road Safety programme.

    The announcement is a much-needed one in addressing the phenomenon that has been taking place along Jalan Temiang-Pantai. Ever since it was open for public use, scores of motorists have been stopping along the route to take pictures, while some have been seen speeding along the route, which is also used by joggers and cyclists. By the way, it is not illegal to jog or cycle on the road, which is a federal road and not a highway.

    Back in June, Seremban traffic police were on location to conduct operations against illegal parkers under part 50 of the Road Traffic Rules 1959 regarding “obstructing traffic” and part 53 of the same act regrading “Emergency Lanes.” Offenders can be fined up to RM2,000 or sentenced to not more than six months jail, or both, upon conviction.

    Following all that activity, the road has been designated as a ‘special patrol zone’ to prevent the public from stopping on the road shoulder and emergency lane, and to improve road safety, according to Datuk Ruslan Khalid, the Negeri Sembilan chief of police.

     
 
 
 

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Last Updated 11 Aug 2022