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Is The 2015 All-New Mazda 2 Open For Bookings In Malaysia?

By 9 hours ago 0 comments

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It looks like eager dealers can’t hardly wait to begin taking orders for the all-new 2015 Mazda 2 SkyActiv — a car which we’ve recently test driven in Japan, and have been quite impressed with so far. We spotted these brochures on social media being posted up by various Mazda dealerships, quoting two variants of the all-new Mazda 2, the Sedan and the Hatch, priced atRM85,XXX and RM87,XXX estimated respectively, without insurance.

But wait a minute… a Sedan?

Strangely, the brochure indicates that a Mazda 2 Sedan variant is opened for bookings as well, something we’ve yet to see anywhere in the world – it’s all been about the Mazda 2 Hatch up to this point, as you’ll note from our previous posts, here and here.

So, are dealers jumping the gun? Or are these actual brochures by Bermaz, the official distributor of Mazda vehicles here?

A quick look at the spec sheet, and it’s easy to see a few other strange items. For starters, a Heads Up Display (HUD) is mentioned, along with paddle shifters. These would be great additions to the Mazda 2, but it’s quite hard to believe that a Malaysian-market one could feature them – according to our last discussions with Bermaz reps. Achieving the right pricing for the Mazda 2 is also crucial, with the process proving to be a little bit of a challenge for those involved right now. (read more here: Mazda 2: Bermaz Targets RM90,000 Price Tag)

The powertrain department seems a bit more like it, with a 1.5-litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine featured, making 114hp and 148Nm of torque when paired to a six-speed torque converter automatic SkyActiv-Drive transmission with paddle shifters – 120PS and 150Nm of torque was what we were quoted during our Japan test.

Mazda 2

Look a little bit closer, and you’ll note a disclaimer just above this line, reading that all these are just tentative information for the moment, bringing more reason to believe that they’re a bit too far from reality for you or anyone to take too seriously just yet. We cannot confirm their validity until we hear it from Bermaz themselves – give us some time to get back to you on this.

You can read more about the all-new Mazda 2 SkyActiv here:

Ford Global Week Of Caring: Going Further For A Good Cause

By 16 hours ago 0 comments

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In line with Ford’s motto ‘Go Further’, employees from Ford and its local distributor, Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC) went beyond selling cars to help families in need and the homeless by delivering essential food boxes and distributing free hot meals to them. This is set to take place around the world at different weeks at a time, but in Malaysia, Ford and SDAC carried it out during the last week of September.

The ninth Ford Global Week of Caring will involve more than 13,000 Ford employees, retirees and dealers working on 310 community service projects in 26 countries across six continents. The campaign also aims to place special emphasis on projects that support local schools and kids, local communities and improving the environment.

In total, Ford and SDAC purchased, packed and distributed an estimated 200 food boxes containing daily essential provisions to families in need within the Klang Valley. This act of charity is Ford and SDAC’s way of giving back to the community as they visit the families and make the deliveries.

Besides that, Ford and SDAC teams also be volunteered to donate and distribute nutritious hot meals to the homeless. With partnership from Grace Community Service, staff volunteers will assist in the packing and distribution of freshly cooked meals to the homeless and those in need along Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur.

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If that’s not enough, this charity campaign is not just limited to one area as all 48 Ford dealers across Malaysia will also be conducting their own charity efforts by collecting essential items to be donated to a shelter or home within their respective communities.

All these initiatives are among a worldwide effort by Ford Motor Company to give back and improve the quality of life for people within the community. The company is also contributing USD $348,000 to non-profit agencies to assist them in completing their various community service projects. As Ford expands globally, their commitment to create a better world grows with it.

Google Maps Updates Street View For Malaysia

By 17 hours ago 0 comments

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Many of us are already accustomed to Google Maps. We use it to look up the directions to a restaurant or even find an office building before we set off on our journey. However, don’t you wish that you could be at the location virtually beforehand and get a feel of the surroundings and note the landmarks there as well?

Well, Google has made that wish a reality with the unveiling of a major update to Google Maps in Malaysia today by publishing comprehensive Street View imagery for all to enjoy.

Over the past year, Google’s Street View cars have been going around the country capturing data of approximately 90 percent of the scenery found along Peninsular Malaysia’s public roads. Not only that, certain off-road sites were also captured with Google employees going on foot wearing the Street View Trekker, a backpack-mounted camera system. Among the highlights of the new Street View imagery are:

·        Taman Negara National Park

·        Holiday destinations in Langkawi and Pangkor

·        Penang and Melaka

·        Putrajaya

Accessing Street View is made really easy by dragging the orange “Pegman” icon from the right-hand side of the map onto a blue highlighted street. Businesses can definitely prosper from this by registering their premises on Google Maps. This allows prospective visitors to get a sense of the business’ location before they make their way there.

Google has plans to continue driving and trekking across the country with the objective of capturing updated imagery across Malaysia on a regular basis over the coming years. Users are also able to explore other countries where Street View is available as well with some locations containing indoor imagery as well.

With easy access to various roads and locations, privacy concerns have been considered. As such, Street View will only feature public areas only which are no different from what a person walking down a street can readily see or capture. The imagery is also not in real time. In addition, faces and license plates are blurred out as well to further improve privacy. If a user feels a particular image violates his or her privacy, they can lodge a complaint using the “Report a problem” tool on Google Maps as well.

L-R: Sajith Sivanandan, Managing Director of Google Malaysia; Nhazlisham Hamdan, Operations Lead, Google Street View

(L-R: Sajith Sivanandan, Managing Director of Google Malaysia; Nhazlisham Hamdan, Operations Lead, Google Street View)

With this major update, Google has managed to extend the capabilities of Maps beyond the conventional norm. So, the next time you’re planning to head to an unknown location, look it up first on Google Maps so you know what to expect before you get there. Here’s a quick example of a Pangkor holiday destination.

Kia Optima T-Hybrid Concept: Template For The Future

By 19 hours ago 0 comments

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At the Paris Motor Show, Korean car maker, Kia, will debut its new hybrid concept, the Kia Optima T-Hybrid. The car is slated to serve as a template for future Kia hybrid models, and reveals the company’s new T-Hybrid powertrain.

Unlike other hybrids which pack large electric motors and battery packs, the Optima T-Hybrid will showcase Kia’s brand new powertrain which consists of a 1.7-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine with a modest 48V lead-carbon battery, small electric motor and an electric supercharger.

This powertrain was previewed at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show and enables the Optima T-Hybrid to be driven in electric-only mode at low speeds and while cruising, with deceleration recharging the battery pack.

Also unlike other hybrids which mainly use nickel or lithium-based batteries, the Kia Optima T-Hybrid utilises lead-carbon batteries. Lead-carbon batteries utilise a different construction of the negative electrodes where instead of sponge plates, multi-layer assemblies that consist of carbon electrode, a corrosion barrier, a current collector, a second corrosion barrier, and a second carbon electrode are put in place instead. Claimed benefits include faster charging rates and battery swapping is easier.

Kia reasons that these batteries require no active cooling, and that during the end of the unit’s lifecycle, the batteries are easier to recycle which makes it kinder for the environment. Which is a good thing because battery packs on hybrid cars do need to be changed after a few years of usage.

The car will also feature a zero-emissions stop-start system and the conventional alternator is replaced with a belt-driven starter generator which allows the engine to be restarted with little noise and vibration. Kia hopes to reduce C02 emissions and fuel consumption paired with a power increase of between 15 and 20 percent with this new powertrain.

Unfortunately, Kia has not released any performance or fuel economy figures, so we won’t be able to compare how efficient their new powertrain is compared to the current crop of hybrid powertrains. Neither have they confirmed if the Kia Optima T-Hybrid will enter mass production although the new T-Hybrid powertrain is being considered to be placed in new Kia models in the future.

VIDEO: Jaguar’s Ingenium Turbocharged Four-Cylinder Engines Detailed

By 21 hours ago 1 comment

When Jaguar unveiled its 3-Series fighter, the XE earlier this month, it only disclosed details about the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine that powers the top of the range XE S.

We do know however that a new range of efficient petrol and diesel turbocharged four-pots will be offered in the entry level XEs, and now, the English marque has released a video detailing them.

Jaguar’s new Euro 6 compliant 2.0-litre four-cylinder mills called Ingenium will come in a variety of tunes and configurations. The carmaker will offer the 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol mill in two states of tune. The entry-level version will offer 197hp and 279Nm of torque, while the more potent one outputs 236hp and 339Nm.

Jaguar XE Ingenium Engines

Like the petrol, the diesel versions will have a displacement of 2.0-litre and feature turbochargers. It too will come in two different tunes. In its base tune, the motor will develop 161hp and 379Nm of torque, while the more powerful one will be good for 177hp and 429Nm of torque, which the carmaker says is “one of the highest torque outputs in its class”.

Jaguar offers the XE with a six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions, but here in Malaysia, we’re likely to get only the automatic of course.

Since Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia offers its models with both diesel and petrol engines here, we can’t say for sure which versions of the Ingenium engines will make their way into Malaysia.

Paris 2014: 2015 Kia Rio Facelift Unveiled Ahead Of Motor Show Debut

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Kia has released pictures and details of its refreshed 2015 Kia Rio hatchback prior to its planned motor show debut at Paris. Kia’s best-selling model gets a minor facelift that includes mild interior and exterior styling tweaks as well as some new tech.

The front fascia benefits from an updated bumper, a restyled Tiger Nose grille and new fog light surrounds. The most notable change happen at the rear. The Korean carmaker has fitted a large black insert into the lower bumper, which improves the hatchback’s sporty appeal.

2015 Kia Rio Facelift Side Profile

The 2015 Rio facelift will be offered with three new alloy wheel designs that range from 15- to 17-inches. Besides that, Urban Blue and Digital Yellow shades are added to the colour options.

Styling updates in the cabin are minimal. There are some new chrome trims and a restyled centre stack. On the tech side, Kia’s B-segment hatch will come with a new seven-inch audio-video navigation (AVN) display and digital radio. Sadly, we will not get these two features on our updated local-spec Rio as both are not available in markets outside of Europe.

2015 Kia Rio Facelift Rear

Engine options are carried over, which means our local-market Rio will continue to be offered with 107hp 1.4-litre CVVT GAMMA engine paired to a four-speed automatic gearbox when this update reaches our shores.

Furthermore, Kia will offer some new efficiency enhancing features such as an automatic start/stop, a better starter motor, advanced alternator control and low-rolling resistance tires as options.

For the record, the Rio is Kia’s best-selling model last year. In 2013, the Korean carmaker has sold a total of 471,000 units of the Rio worldwide, but is this minor facelift enough to steal sales from the refreshed Polo and Fiesta?