Latest Stories

  • Mercedes Thailand to start EQC EV production in 2021

    Mercedes-Benz will start to make electric vehicles in Thailand next year. The model in question is the EQC electric SUV, and this comes after the German carmaker agreed with Thailand’s Board of Investment (BoI) to import the first batch for this year’s sales. The EQC is set to appear at the Bangkok Motor Show next month, with order books open at the event.

    The Bangkok Post reports that Mercedes-Benz previously said that it postponed the EQC’s Thai introduction in 2019, because the BoI had yet to approve its plan to import up to 600 units of the EV before CKD operations start.

    The BoI said Mercedes-Benz applied for a project to assemble a plug-in hybrid vehicle worth 607 million baht (RM80.7 million) and the full EV project worth 342 million baht (RM45.5 million) at its plant in Samut Prakan. The BoI’s conditions state that makers of EVs are allowed to import zero-emission cars with an exemption from import duty, which can be up to 80% of the declared price.

    Roland Folger, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Thailand, said his company is working with the BoI to import the first batch of 250 EQCs.”We want to import as many as we can. Thai motorists can experience zero-emission cars under this tax scheme,” he said, while suggesting benefits such as free parking, no highway toll and bus lane access for EVs.

    “It is Mercedes-Benz’s bridging strategy that the first launch sells and markets with imported cars, then the carmaker begins local assembly a year later. Meanwhile, the retail prices are unchanged,” he said. This CBU-CKD arrangement happens in Malaysia too, where the first batch of cars are CBU imports before CKD local assembly takes over – think Volvo.

    EQC aside, Mercedes-Benz Thailand plans to launch the GLC 300e plug-in hybrid next month. Folger said that since 2016, the brand has sold over 16,000 PHEVs in the kingdom and PHEVs accounted for 25% of total sales last year.

    Revealed in September 2019, the X253 GLC 300e 4Matic combines a 211 PS/350 Nm 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine with a 90 kW (122 PS)/440 Nm electric motor and 13.5 kWh battery. Total system output is 320 PS/700 Nm. The GLC PHEV does 0-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 230 km/h. EV mode top speed is 130 km/h and electric range is between 39 and 43 km.

    Malaysia doesn’t get the GLC 300e, but the facelifted GLC 200 and GLC 300 AMG Line have been available here since December 2019.

    Mercedes-Benz Malaysia previewed the EQC here in June 2019 and said then that the EQC 400 4Matic will be available to order sometime this year for an estimated RM600,000. Full details of the EQC here.

     
  • 2020 Honda Civic facelift debuts in Malaysia – three variants, 1.8 NA and 1.5 Turbo, RM114k to RM140k

    Honda Malaysia has officially introduced the 2020 Civic facelift, the refreshed tenth-gen FC finally making its debut today five months after it went on preview and the order books opened for it, the delay in the FC’s arrival having being put down to issues related to pricing.

    The mid-life update for the Civic contains minor styling changes to the car’s exterior – the front end now features a piano black “wing” on the grille in place of the chrome trim seen previously, and the bumper has been redesigned, with the lower section now integrating the black trim into a single piece running across the width of the unit. At the back, a new rear bumper garnish piece and a boot spoiler make their way on.

    Three variants are available for the Civic facelift, a base 1.8 S, a mid-spec 1.5 TC and range-topping 1.5 TC-P. No change in engines, or output – the 1.8 S is powered by a normally-aspirated 1.8 litre SOHC four-pot offering 141 PS and 174 Nm, while the L15B7 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo four-cylinder engine, with 173 PS and 220 Nm of torque, features on both turbo versions.

    A new 18-inch alloy wheel also goes on, but that’s only for the 1.5 TC-P, and it’s dressed with 235/40 profile tyres. The 1.5 TC sits on 17-inch units and 215/50 series tyres, while the 1.8 S is equipped with 16-inch alloys, wrapped with 215/55 rubbers.

    Both engine options continue to be paired with an Earth Dreams continuously variable transmission (CVT), which directs drive to the front wheels. The major inclusion is Honda Sensing, with the Civic becoming the third locally-assembled (CKD) Honda model to come with the suite of safety and driver assistance systems after the CR-V and Accord.

    Components available in the system are Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low Speed Follow (LSF), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).

    There ís also an Auto High-Beam (AHB) feature and a LaneWatch camera side-camera system, and other safety equipment includes six airbags, front parking sensors, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), ABS, EBD, brake assist, Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and a reverse camera.

    New equipment being introduced with the facelift include front parking sensors, automatic wipers and 60:40 split-folding rear seats (previously, a fixed bench).

    The 1.5 TC will now come equipped with LED headlamps and fog lamps (previously, halogen units) as well as LaneWatch. As for the 1.5 TC-P, aside from Sensing and the 18-inch alloys, it is the only variant to feature the black grille and boot spoiler as standard.

    Five colours are available for the Civic facelift – Lunar Silver Metallic, White Orchid Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl and a new shade, Passion Red Pearl.

    Finally, pricing, and the 2020 Civic facelift variants are priced, all on-the-road without insurance, as follows:

    • Civic 1.8 S – RM113,600
    • Civic 1.5 TC – RM129,600
    • Civic 1.5 TC-P – RM139,600

    Compared to the pre-facelift, this is an increase of RM5,435 for the 1.8 (RM108,165, pre-FL), RM8,745 for the 1.5 TC (RM120,855, pre-FL) and RM10,969 for the 1.5 TC-P (RM128,63, pre-FL).

    There is also a number of optional accessories packages available for the Civic. Two are Modulo packages – the 1.0 package consisting of front, rear and side under spoilers and the rear wing that is standard on the 1.5 TC-P, priced at RM4,868. This is essentially meant for the 1.8 S and 1.5 TC. The next Modulo package omits the rear spoiler, which reduces the price to RM3,241.

    Additionally, there’s an Urban package (RM1,575), which is made up of door visors, illuminated side steps and aluminium sports pedals, as well as an Utility package (RM621), which consists of a trunk tray, trunk organiser and sun shades. Also available is a Protection package (RM3,007), which consists of ultra glass body/window coating and wheel lock nuts.

    GALLERY: 2020 Honda Civic 1.5 TC-P facelift

    GALLERY: 2020 Honda Civic 1.5 TC facelift with Modulo accessories package GALLERY: 2020 Honda Civic 1.8 S facelift

     
  • 2020 Hyundai i30 facelift – bold new front, improved safety features and connectivity, mild hybrid option

    Hyundai has released images and details of the i30 facelift ahead of its debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. The C-segment Volkswagen Golf-fighting hatchback and its wingmen get a bold new face, new connectivity features and a 48-volt mild hybrid option. The previous update was in late 2018.

    This is quite a big and obvious facelift, starring a wider grille with an accentuated 3D pattern for a wider-looking stance. New, slimmer headlamps with optional multifaceted reflector (MFR) LED technology and new V-shaped signature LED daytime running lights (DRLs) also play their part. The look is in-line with the all-new i20 that was revealed last week, but not quite as one-piece-mask as the smaller car.

    At the rear, the i30 five-door hatch gets a new bumper design that also improves aerodynamic performance. The LED rear combination lamps have a V-shape signature to match the front DRLs. New diamond-cut 16- or 17-inch alloys round off the changes.

    Previously an option for the hatchback and fastback, the sporty N Line trim level – inspired by the actual i30 N – is now also available on the wagon. All the images here are of the N Line in the new Sunset Red colour. Dark Night and Silky Bronze are the other two new colours for the whole range, in addition to six existing colours.

    Redesigned, N Line looks sportier now with a larger lower central grille that dominates the bumper. The side openings feature floating wings which improve aerodynamics. There’s also a slim silver lip and the N Line badge on the grille.

    The new N Line rear bumper centres on the wide diffuser, while the repositioned fog lights focus the visual centre of gravity closer to the ground. The revamped trim comes with new 17- or 18-inch wheels that “expresses speed even when standing still,” contributing to a profile that’s “full of motion”.

    In addition, the N Line Hatchback and Fastback features tuning updates for suspension and steering in combination with the 1.5 T-GDi (160 PS) and 1.6 diesel (136 PS) engines for a more dynamic ride.

    Inside, design changes are limited to the air vents, which are described as more refined and modern. Three new interior accent colours have been added: Pewter Gray, Ebony Brown and Charcoal Gray. Previously one could only have black. The seats can be covered in cloth, leather or a combination of both for a total of eight possible options. The N Line car seen here gets orange stitching and N logos on the gear knob and steering wheel.

    The i30 facelift gets a new seven-inch digital cluster and 10.25-inch navigation touchscreen. It has full compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and there will be wireless phone mirroring and charging. There’s also Hyundai’s Bluelink connected car services, of which a five-year free subscription is free if one opts for navigation.

    The Hyundai SmartSense safety package has been improved. Lane Following Assist automatically adjusts steering to help keep the vehicle centred in its lane. The Rear Collision-avoidance Assist system can activate the brakes to avoid a collision when the car is in reverse. Also new to the i30 is Leading Vehicle Departure Alert, which warns the driver when the car ahead starts moving and they don’t, like Perodua’s Front Departure Alert.

    The rear Blind Spot Detection system has received an upgrade. Now, with Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, it can activate the engine brake in order to avoid a collision. Front Collision-Avoidance Assistance has been improved to recognise bicycles on the road. Also new to the i30, the eCall feature automatically contacts emergency services in the event that the airbag sensors are triggered.

    FCA with pedestrian detection, Driver Attention Warning, High Beam Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Warning and Lane Keeping Assist continue as they are.

    Lastly, there’s an enhanced powertrain line-up, which is very wide. To start, there’s a new 1.5 litre NA petrol engine with dual port injection and 110 PS, which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox. The 1.0 litre T-GDI turbo with 120 PS is now paired to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, in addition to the previous 6MT. This engine can also be had with 48-volt mild hybrid tech, paired to a six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT).

    iMT decouples the engine from the transmission after the driver releases the accelerator. This allows the car to enter into two possible levels of coasting, depending on the conditions. With the first level, the engine is idling. With the second level, the engine is additionally temporarily turned off to save even more fuel. The hybrid option is also available with a seven-speed DCT.

    In the diesel camp, the entry engine is a 1.6L with 115 PS and a choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT. The 1.6L with 136 PS now comes standard with a 48V mild hybrid system. Gearbox options are the six-speed iMT or a 7DCT. At the top of the range is the new 1.5 litre T-GDI engine with 160 PS, also with mild hybrid tech and a choice of iMT or DCT.

    GALLERY: 2020 Hyundai i30 Hatchback


    GALLERY: 2020 Hyundai i30 Wagon

    GALLERY: 2020 Hyundai i30 Fastback

     
  • 2020 Honda Accord launched in Malaysia – two CKD variants; 201 PS 1.5L VTEC Turbo, RM186k-RM196k

    Following the start of order taking for the all-new Honda Accord just over a week ago, Honda Malaysia has now officially launched the tenth-generation D-segment sedan in the country.

    Buyers will be able to choose from two variants – 1.5 TC and 1.5 TC-P – both locally assembled at Honda Malaysia’s Pegoh plant. The base 1.5 TC retails at RM185,900 on-the-road without insurance, while the range-topping 1.5 TC-P is priced at RM195,900.

    Four exterior colours – Crystal Black Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic and Platinum White Pearl (a RM400 option) – are available, and all units come with a five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty with five times free labour service (within 100,000 km or five years).

    The new Accord wears a more dynamic suit than before, with a fastback-like profile complemented by a sweeping roofline. Adopting cues from the current-generation Civic, the big sedan sports slim headlamps flanked by a large chrome wing that sits above an extended, upright grille. There’s also a kinked window line, upswept rear deck, wraparound taillights and integrated twin exhaust exits that are part of the exterior styling.

    Dimension-wise, the Accord measures 4,901 mm long and 1,862 mm wide, making it 34 mm shorter and 12 mm wider than before. The roofline sits 15 mm lower than before at 1,450 mm, contributing to a centre of gravity that is 10 mm lower than before, while the 2,830 mm wheelbase has grown by 55 mm.

    Under the bonnet, the new Accord gets the same 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo four-cylinder petrol engine as that found in the Civic and CR-V already on sale here. However, unlike those two models, the Accord’s mill offers higher outputs, providing 201 PS at 5,500 rpm and 260 Nm from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm

    Drive is directed to the front wheels via an Earth Dreams continuously variable transmission (CVT), and the Accord will accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in nine (1.5 TC) or 9.1 seconds (1.5 TC-P). Both variants will hit the same top speed of 190 km/h and offer two drive modes – Econ and Sport.

    By comparison, the CR-V comes with 193 PS at 5,600 rpm and 243 Nm from 2,000 to 5,000 rpm, while the Civic serves up 173 PS at 5,500 rpm and 174 Nm from 1,700 to 5,500 rpm. On a related note, the Accord’s figures represent an increase of 11 PS and 17 Nm over the tune seen on the Thailand and Indonesian versions of the Accord, which are rated at 190 PS at 5,500 rpm and 243 Nm from 1,500 to 5,500 rpm.

    In terms of standard equipment, the Accord range gets full-LED headlamps with daytime running lights, LED taillights and fog lamps, 17- (1.5 TC) or 18-inch (1.5 TC-P) alloy wheels, keyless entry and start (with remote engine start), four front and rear parking sensors (eight total) and a multi-angle reverse camera.

    For the interior, there’s an eight-inch Advanced Display Audio head unit with 10 speakers, a subwoofer as well as support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other items inside include dual-zone climate control with rear vents, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster display, leather upholstery and powered front seats (eight-way driver with memory, four-way passenger).

    The similarities continue with the safety kit, which includes six airbags (front, side and curtain), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Agile Handing Assist (AHA), ABS, EBD, Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist. However, the 1.5 TC-P is the only variant that gets the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assist systems, which was also found on the outgoing ninth-gen model.

    The feature set includes Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), while the Low Speed Follow (LSF) function is a new addition for the tenth-gen car. The Accord comes with a five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating.

    Aside from the Honda Sensing suite, the range-topper also benefits from LaneWatch, a 360-degree camera, Cross Traffic Monitor, Smart Parking Assist System with rear Brake Assist and a tyre deflation warning system.

    Honda Malaysia is offering a range of optional accessories for the Accord, including a Modulo Package for RM5,414 that includes front and rear under spoilers, side skirts and a trunk spoiler. The options list also includes a front digital video recorder for RM749 as well as a range of window films from 3M and Ecotint, with prices ranging from RM1,478 to RM2,293.

    There’s also an Urban Package (door visor, illuminated side steps, rear bumper under garnish) for RM2,777, Utility Package (boot tray, boot organiser, rear sun shades and car cover) for RM865, and a Protection Package (wheel lock nuts, glass body coating and window coating) for RM3,007.

    Find full specifications of the new Accord on CarBase.my.

    2020 Honda Accord 1.5 TC-P

    2020 Honda Accord official photos

     
  • 2020 MotoGP: Yamaha on top in final test at Qatar

    With the start of the 2020 MotoGP season happening on March 6 to 8 in Losail Circuit, Qatar, Yamaha had a lot to smile about after concluding the final Winter Test on February 21 to 23. A full 22-lap race distance was completed during the final Winter Test with the top 18 riders split by less than a second.

    Maverick Vinales of Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP did a best lap of 1:53.858 with Franco Morbidelli of Yamaha Sepang Racing Team coming in just 0.033 behind, both riders on Yamaha YZR-M1 racing machines. In third was Alex Rins of Suzuki Ecstar and fourth was Fabio Quartararo, Morbidelli’s team mate, who shone during the Winter Test at Sepang.

    While winter testing does not really indicate how the 2020 MotoGP season will go, it is telling that current world champion Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda Racing and runner-up Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati MotoGP were outside the top five. Fastest Ducati on the day and only non-Japanese make in the top six was Jack Miller of Pramac Racing while fan favourite Valentino Rossi, who has yet to decide on his future in MotoGP, came in 12th fastest on the YZR-M1.

    “First of all it’s incredible because we are 15 riders in about half a second, it’s like Moto2! This is very good for the Championship and for the fans that will follow the races because there looks to be a lot of balance between different riders and different bikes,” said Rossi.

     
  • Polestar Precept concept: electric sedan with new look

    So, not an SUV, then. Empathically, the Polestar Precept isn’t a high-riding crossover that’s so in vogue these days, but a good old-fashioned sedan. And a stunning one at that.

    After years of pilfering Volvo’s concept back catalogue (the 1 is essentially the production version of 2013’s Concept Coupé, while the 2 references the 40.2 from 2016), the electrified sister entity has finally defined its design language as a nascent individual brand. And while the Precept still carries remnants of Gothenburg in its DNA, it repurposes those cues into a look that’s all its own.

    The Thor’s Hammer LED headlights remain, but they have been separated into upper and lower branches, framing a minimalist front fascia. The traditional grille has been replaced by a SmartZone, a strip that carries the car’s twin radar sensors and high definition camera for its driver assistance systems. Polestar is making these sensors a highlight of the Precept’s styling, with a prominent LIDAR pod also sitting atop the glass roof.

    Staying at the front of the car, an integrated wing above the SmartZone – similar to the one on the Ferrari 488 Pista – accelerates airflow over the bonnet. This allows the air to attach to the surface earlier, improving aerodynamic efficiency and thus, range (this car is electric, after all).

    The Precept is a very long car, and its wheelbase alone measures a considerable 3.1 metres long. Not only does this provide space for a large battery to sit within the floor, it also gives the car a low and sleek look, helped by the coupé-like roofline and tall window line.

    The pronounced front and rear haunches emphasise the Precept’s strong stance, while a deep bodyside cut in the doors exposes a grey underside, lined by slim skirting that forms the front splitter and rear diffuser. At the back, the full-width inverted U-shaped tail lights form the trailing edge of the short rear deck, and feature aerodynamic vents within its corners.

    Futuristic touches abound, including the mirror-replacing side-view cameras, suicide doors, frameless windows that betray the lack of B-pillars, and a missing rear windscreen (rearward visibility is instead afforded by a rear-view camera). This allows the glass roof to stretch behind the rear passengers, as well as a larger opening and higher hinge mounts for the tailgate – yes, the Precept is a five-door – to improve boot access.

    The rather Scandinavian aesthetic continues inside, where a slim horizontal dashboard holds the 12.5-inch instrument display and the massive 15-inch portrait-format touchscreen, the latter running the brand’s Android-based infotainment system. Eye-tracking technology adjusts the content on various screens based on the driver’s gaze, while proximity sensors provide gesture control for the centre screen.

    The Precept features four large individual seats, and both the front and rear occupants get a floating armrest with a rotary knob – seemingly used to control music playback – at the end. The brand’s signature gold accents can still be found on the seat belts (and the brake callipers), while its logo is set in Swedish crystal behind the rear seats – repurposing the material found in Volvo’s gearknobs.

    Polestar is big on sustainability, and to that end the car interior panels and seat backs are made from Bcomp’s flax-based composites, offering up to a 50% reduction in weight and an 80% reduction in plastic waste compared to traditional materials.

    Elsewhere, the seat surfaces are 3D-knitted using plastic from recycled PET bottles, while the bolsters and headrests are made from recycled cork vinyl and the carpets from reclaimed fishing nets. The company says that it is moving beyond the traditional leather, wood and chrome to define a new kind of premium luxury.

    This being a flight-of-fancy show car, no technical details have been revealed, apart from the fact that this is a fully-electric vehicle. What do you think – do you like the direction Polestar is headed with the Precept? Sound off in the comments after the jump.

     
  • DRIVEN: 2020 Honda Civic facelift – same, but more

    Few would have thought that the arrival of the tenth-generation Honda Civic here in 2016 would help rejuvenate a segment that was in disarray, languishing in the face of stiff competition from SUVs and ever-growing B-segment offerings.

    At that point, things looked dismal for the C-segment sedan, at least from a volume perspective, with very little to spark the imagination and conversely, buyer’s wallets – the ninth-gen FB was nowhere close to its predecessor in terms of appeal, and everyone else with a three-box sedan solution at that point wasn’t having a grand time either, be it the Toyota Corolla Altis, Nissan Sylphy or the Mazda 3, to name some still playing that field.

    But that’s what the Civic did, stir the pot, as reflected by the large number of FCs you see running about on the roads. Its success speaks volumes of it as a product, turning things around in a segment that many observers felt was on the way out or had already left town.

    No, it wasn’t quite a watershed moment, because the category will no longer be king, but it did go to show that there can still be validity – and relevant numbers – in it if you get the product right.

    Rakish looks, improved presentation and smaller displacement turbocharging were the selling points, and that gained the car plenty of traction with the buying crowd. Three years into the game, the facelift is hoping to continue the momentum – ahead of its arrival here, we sampled the refreshed offering in Thailand to see what to expect.

    Read The Full Story ›

     
  • 2021 Honda City Hatchback rendered – would you prefer this over a new Jazz or Toyota Yaris?

    It’s looking more and more likely that Southeast Asia will lose the global Honda Jazz model with the advent of the fourth generation, instead receiving a sportier, more low-slung hatchback version of the new, regionalised City. Patent drawings of said model surfaced last week, and now our resident Photoshop wizard Theophilus Chin has furnished us renders showing us what this car should look like in the metal.

    As the drawings showed, the five-door will pretty much be identical to the sedan from the B-pillars forward, sharing the slim headlights, full-width chrome trim above the grille, clamshell bonnet, rearwards A-pillar positioning and wing mirrors mounted on stalks on the doors.

    Even towards the unique rear end, the hatch will use the same rear doors as the sedan, the design of which has clearly been compromised for double duty compared to the doors of the bespoke previous-generation City sedan. One change of note is that the fuel filler door has rather awkwardly been placed on the C-pillars, due to the significantly shorter rump.

    At the back, the hatch retains the sedan’s trapezoidal tail lights (with U-shaped graphics) and vertical reflectors, with the resulting look being reminiscent of the W177 Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatch. The interior should also retain the sedan’s busy-looking dashboard and Accord-style three-spoke steering wheel, a departure from the new Jazz’s handsome minimalist dash and two-spoke wheel.

    Expect the City Hatchback to be powered by the same 1.0 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine offered on the sedan in Thailand, making 122 PS and 173 Nm of torque and paired to the CVT. There’s also a possibility of the Jazz e:HEV’s hybrid powertrain, which utilises a 98 PS/127 Nm 1.5 litre four-pot that acts as a generator of sorts for the 109 PS/253 Nm electric motor.

    It’s still unclear if this City Hatchback will indeed replace the Jazz in ASEAN, or if it will remain in China as a successor to the Gienia. If it’s the former, then Honda would be taking a page out of the Toyota playbook, as the Yaris for this region is little more than a Vios hatchback. However, the T brand could be doing a switcheroo this round and bring in the latest Japanese/European-market Yaris over here. Which one would you prefer – the international Jazz and Yaris models, or their regional counterparts?

     
  • Trevo – peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace by Socar

    Car sharing firm Socar Malaysia has just launched its peer-to-peer service, Trevo in Malaysia today, which enables drivers and car owners to book vehicles for hire as guests, or to hire them out as hosts.

    Here, the aim is to offer its users (guests, in Socar terms) a wider range of mobility choices, while offering car owners – termed hosts by Socar – the opportunity to earn income in order to offset the cost of vehicle ownership, the company says. Trevo is a fully-owned subsidiary of Socar Malaysia, while Socar itself is 60% owned by SK Holdings and 40% by Socar Korea.

    Vehicle ownership in Malaysia is among the highest in the region with 93% of households owning at least one car, says CEO of Socar Malaysia Leon Foong. “For Trevo guests, we hope to be able to curate the best-in-class vehicles in terms of selection and quality at very attractive prices,” Foong said.

    Sample revenue estimates.

    For guests, vehicles can be loaned for as little as RM55 per day for a Perodua Myvi, or at the other end of the scale, a Rolls-Royce can be booked, too (though pricing for this has yet to be be listed), says Trevo. A variety of vehicles is available, ranging from economical hatchbacks, crossovers and sedans, up to large SUVs and limousines.

    Meanwhile, hosts, or vehicle owners can earn up to RM1,370 a month for a 2019 Perodua Myvi or up to RM4,120 a month for a 2019 Ford Ranger; sample estimates are based on vehicles booked for 10 days in a month, according to Trevo. Prospective hosts can find out how much their vehicle can potentially earn on the Trevo website under the Host tab.

    How does it work? For guests, download the mobile app and sign up, and account verification typically takes a maximum of 24 hours, says Trevo. Guests a required to have a valid Malaysian Competent Driving License (CDL) or for non-Malaysians, a valid international driving permit. Once a vehicle has been chosen and booked, guests will either collect the vehicle at the agreed hand-over location from the host, or from a member of the Trevo team.

    Sample revenue estimates.

    Meanwhile for hosts, a similar registration process is involved; download the app and sign up, and account verification typically takes 24 hours. Hosts are required to upload the vehicle’s information and customise its availability, delivery options and other details. Trevo Shield covers hosted vehicles in liability protection up to RM3 million against damage to the vehicle, other damage and injury, as well as fire and theft.

    Any vehicle that is no more than 10 years of age can be shared on Trevo with no fee charged, the firm says. If anyone wants to host with their older classic model, separate enquiries can be made. As for hosts’ concerns about how hosted vehicles might be driven when they are loaned out, they will be fitted with mobile tracking devices for the Trevo team to monitor, says Trevo general manager Susan Teoh.

    Prior to its launch today, Trevo has been in operation from October 2019, and it is currently the sole peer-to-peer vehicle sharing programme in Malaysia, according to the firm. There are currently more than 300 cars available to book, and most vehicle hosts are located in the Klang Valley, although the coverage is expected to grow as more people learn about peer-to-peer vehicle sharing, says Trevo.

    There are currently over 20,000 registered guests, according to Trevo, with more than 1,000 bookings made since going live last October. A key difference between Trevo and Socar is that while Trevo users have typically made bookings for 2.5 days on average, Socar users have been found to make bookings of four to five hours on average, therefore the two schemes attract different usage patterns, says CEO Leon Foong.

     
  • BMW Concept i4 teased – EV with Gran Coupe body

    BMW has released teasers of the BMW Concept i4, which will make its debut next month at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. The showcar will preview Munich’s first fully-electric Gran Coupe, which is BMW’s term for four-door coupe. Prior to this, BMW released some tech details.

    “The BMW Concept i4 heralds a new era in Sheer Driving Pleasure; it provides a whole new take on the dynamic excellence for which BMW is renowned and blends a modern, elegantly sporty design with the spaciousness and practicality of a four-door Gran Coupe – all while generating zero local emissions,” the carmaker said.

    “The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand. The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero emission,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, senior VP at BMW Group Design.

    L-R: BMW Concept i4, BMW Concept 4

    The Concept i4’s shape is as expected of a four-door version of the upcoming 4 Series, which was previewed in September 2019 by the BMW Concept 4. That showcar stunned most observers with a controversial nose grille, but aside from the face, it had a classic coupe profile and nice proportions. Highly sculpted at the front and rear wings, too.

    We’ve put the Concept 4 coupe and the Gran Coupe body of the Concept i4 side by side above, and as you can see, the four-door’s profile is remarkably similar to the coupe’s, save for a subtly elongated window area. Without the rear door handles, it could even pass off as an actual coupe. Will BMW persist with the vertical kidney grille from the Concept 4? We’ll see.

    As for what’s under the hood, it’s BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive electric powertrain. With a completely redesigned electric motor, power electronics, charging unit and battery, the modular system delivers up to 530 PS, all from just a single motor at the rear. BMW has said that the i4 will be capable of 0-100 km/h in around four seconds and a top speed in excess of 200 km/h.

    On the flip side, the 80 kWh battery – situated flat under the floor – is set to deliver a range of around 600 km. The charging unit is capable of receiving up to 150 kW, allowing the battery to be charged to around 80% in 35 minutes, or add 100 km of range in just six minutes.

    The production BMW i4 is slated for a 2021 debut.

    GALLERY: BMW Concept 4

     
 

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Last Updated 22 Feb 2020



 

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