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Digital vehicle plates or e-plates are coming to Malaysia?

Digital vehicle plates or e-plates are being pushed once again to be implemented here in Malaysia.

Electronic vehicle licence plates with embedded RFID technology (radio-frequency identification) have a number of significant advantages compared to the normal plates we’re currently using and Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, our former Transport Minister, is all for it.

*Image credit: RFID WIOT

According to Wee in a report posted by The Star, 95% of the countries in the world have already implemented the RFID digital or electronic vehicle plates, including our neighbouring countries. Perhaps the two biggest advantages of the e-plate system are ease of congestion and prevention of car thefts.

To elaborate, authorities will have an easier time checking the cars digitally (and from a safer distance) using the RFID system. Things like roadblocks and vehicle stops can be done swiftly and safely compared to the current methods being deployed right now. Plus, it’s probably harder to forge digital details than our normal plates for crimes like car thefts and vehicle cloning.

*Image credit: Straits Times

Our current Transport Minister, Anthony Loke, replied to Wee’s comments by stating that if the e-plate is to be introduced here in Malaysia, it wouldn’t be a compulsory thing right out of the gate. The implementation might begin with newly-registered vehicles, but in the future, a standardised system will most likely take place to ease of enforcement.

The plate recognition system can also be linked to the Multi-Lane Fast Flow (MLFF) barrier-free system that can collect toll payments without holding up traffic and causing major congestion during rush hours. Indonesia is working hard in this direction and perhaps we should be doing so as well for the greater good.

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Lamborghini announces plans for fully electric Urus SUV by 2030

Lamborghini is taking its bestselling Urus Super SUV to the next level – the electric level!

CEO Stephan Winkelmann has confirmed that a fully electric Lamborghini Urus is on the horizon and set to hit the road by the end of this decade. This is not just a new chapter for Lamborghini, but a whole new book in the world of luxury electric vehicles.

With a budget of $1.8 billion over the next four years, the high-performance sports brand is revving up its efforts to electrify its popular models. The iconic Urus is getting a major upgrade, with plans to transform it into a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) by 2024.

And that’s just the beginning! Lamborghini is gearing up to launch its first fully electric vehicle in 2028 – a stunning “2+2, two-door car with more ground clearance” that is sure to turn heads. And the electric Urus model is set to hit the market in 2029. 

Picture credit:

Lamborghini is paving the way for a new era of sustainable luxury, where performance and environmental responsibility go hand-in-hand. 

Lamborghini CEO claimed that 2022 would be the last year we would see a new solely gas-powered Lambo released. Winkelmann added that the their first two electric vehicles will help lower overall emissions by 80%. 

Until the Italian carmaker releases their first two BEVs at the end of the decade, its current lineup will be “hybridize”. Starting with an Aventador HEV in 2023, then a Huracan PHEV and Urus PHEV due in 2024.

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Nissan’s new Skyline concept is just an old Infiniti Q50 full of goofy gimmicks

We’re all pretty used to seeing an auto manufacturer market their car as having an all-in-one experience, but Nissan is probably the first one to stuff 30 goofy accessories into an ageing mid-size sedan to prove that they are doing some work and thinking of the future.

This is more of a you must see it to believe it rather than read it kind of thing as the video of the Nissan Skyline contemporary lifestyle vehicle concept and its 30 whacky features is most vivid when seen.

Nonetheless, the theme of the build is all about eat, sleep and play on the go, which is why they have pretty much stuffed the Skyline/Q50 up to the brim with features that practically turn it into a mobile home, like something out of a cheerful doomsday movie where you would have to rely on your vehicle for everything.

Everything from bins, tables, phone stands, projectors, sleeping are,a and garbage disposal are integrated into the car, and of course, Nissan was going to include a personal AI assistant name SORA which can remind you that you have yet to empty the bins.

For those of you wondering why the Nissan Skyline looks like a Skyline that you can’t ever recall, well that’s because in some parts of the world, including Japan, the Infiniti Q50 is sold as a Skyline.

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Cheaper Land Rovers and Jaguars on the way thanks to new CKD operations?

If the news report from The Edge Markets is to be believed, we could soon have cheaper Land Rovers and Jaguars in the country as the business daily reported that INOKOM Corp Sdn Bhd is on the verge of becoming a CKD partner for JLR (Jaguar Land Rover).

According to the Edge INOKOM is in the final stage of negotiations with UK-based Jaguar Land Rover to assemble a couple of their models in Malaysia,and while these talks are happening wth Jaguar Land Rover, Inokom is also understood to be at the tail end of similar contract assembly negotiations with China’s Chery Automobile Co Ltd.

Sime Darby responded to The Edge’s queries on the potential new marques for assembly and the enhancement of existing contracts, but it neither confirmed nor denied the possibility.

“Sime Darby Motors is a partner of choice for some of the world’s leading brands, giving our customers access to a network of world-class products and services. That being said, we are always on the lookout for new partners, even more so as global economic prospects take a turn for the better,” the diversified group says in an email reply. “We are also always looking to forge stronger relationships with our existing partners.”

Currently, Inokom assembles a lot of the vehicles you see on the road, including BMWs, MINIs, Hyundais, Kias, Porsches and Mazdas. 

Inokom Corporation Sdn Bhd is a subsidiary of Sime Darby Motors, which is part of the Sime Darby Berhad conglomerate. Sime Darby Motors holds a 51% stake in Inokom, with Bermaz Auto Bhd (29%) and Hyundai Motor Co (15%) owning most of the rest.

According to the Edge, Inokom’s plans have hit the market, where separate sources are aware of the talks.

One of the sources said, “There could be significant investments into Inokom with all these new developments. The increase in Porsche marques is especially major, considering the plant (Inokom) is Porsche’s first assembly plant outside Europe”, reported The Edge

Part of the rumour mill was also the increase of production for Porsche vehicles in Malaysia to expand its growth regionally as well as locally. 

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5 more highways join the open toll system – list grows to 11

You know how it was announced last week that starting in September, users of five highways can use their credit and debit cards to pay for tolls? Well, that list has just grown, as five more highways have joined the list.

According to a report by The Star, five more highways have agreed to participate in implementing the open toll payment system that will begin in mid-September.

These highways are Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP), SPRINT Highway, Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas), SMART Tunnel and the Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya Expressway (MEX).

Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said, “the open payment system will be implemented in phases involving various concession companies”.

This brings the total number of highways involved to 11, with the just mentioned highways joining the Sungai Besi Expressway (Besraya), New Pantai Expressway (NPE), Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (AKLEH), Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE) and Penang Bridge

Nanta also announced that in October, the Sungai Besi Expressway would be the first location for the implementation of MLFF Proof of Concept (Multi Lane Fast Flow system), to evaluate the system before fully implementing it in the near future.

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Jaguar I-PACE launched in Malaysia – 400PS/696NM, 470KM range, from RM460K

After what felt like a very long time since there were rumours that the Jaguar I-PACE would grace our roads, Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia has officially launched the Jaguar I-PACE, their first fully electric premium sport utility vehicle (SUV) for the Malaysian market.

The Jaguar I-PACE, which seamlessly integrates sustainability and practicality with its contemporary design has won more than 80 awards globally, including ‘World Car of the Year’, ‘World Car Design of the Year’ and ‘World Green Car’.

Two variants, the LE and HSE

The Jaguar EV comes in two variants, the LE and HSE, with prices starting at RM460,800 for the LE and RM498,800 for the HSE. The main differences between the variant are distinguished by air suspension, Meridien sound system and sports seats for the HSE version.

Powertrain same for all

The rest is pretty much the same, including its powertrain, which features two Jaguar-designed electric motors at each axle, which gives the hatchback-looking SUV 400PS and 696Nm of torque. 

Its aluminium construction and a low centre of gravity offer an unrivalled balance of all-wheel drive performance, according to Jaguar, but we’re pretty certain it has the highest level of refinement, luxury and agility, judging by past Jaguars.

The Jaguar I-PACE sets itself apart in its segment, with its ability to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds and a 400m sprint in 12.4 seconds, as well as having a wading depth rating of 500mm. 

Battery and charging speed

Equipped with a 90kWh battery, the I-PACE has a certified Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) range of up to 470km. The battery is positioned in the centre of the vehicle, as low as possible, with a seal between the housing and the underfloor.

Customers can enjoy fast charging when connected to an 11kW wall box, as it can achieve 53km of WLTP range per hour, and a full charge from empty-to-full which only takes 8.6 hours, making it ideal for overnight charging at home.

Interior features

Jaguar I-PACE features the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, which employs an innovative combination of touchscreens, capacitive sensors, and tactile physical controls, making it easy to use.

The standard 10″ and optional 5.5″ dual high-definition Touchscreens allow users to view information while also interacting with additional features, increasing flexibility and efficiency.

Despite being a mid-sized SUV, the I-PACE’s cab forward design and electric powertrain provide interior space comparable to large SUVs.
There is 890mm of legroom in the back, and a useful 10.5-litre central storage compartment due to the lack of a transmission tunnel.

Tablet and laptop storage is available beneath the rear seats, and the rear luggage compartment has a capacity of 656 litres – and 1,453 litres with the seats folded flat.

Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia is also giving free RM1,000 credit in the DC GoToU app for every booking received during the launch period until 28 May 2023. This allows users to reserve a charging station, as well as the guarantee of it being switched on.

Reservations for the Jaguar EV can be made at Jaguar showrooms in Ara Damansara or Penang. 

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Anthony Loke: One theory test to rule them all, no need for two separate tests

Antony Loke is trying to change the driving and riding test system, where you will only have to take one theory test to obtain both licenses at the same time.

Instead of having many different theory tests, theory examinations for motorcycle and car driving licences may be standardised soon to help ease the burden of the people. 

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said some members of the public have told him that they had to go for a theory examination for their motorcycle licence, and repeat the same process for their car driving licence, according to a report in The Star.

This is actually the rule, no matter how silly it sounds, as under the existing protocol, those who want to obtain a motorcycle licence and a car licence at the same time must complete two theory examinations.

“This is unlike some time ago when we could just complete the theory examination once for both licences.”

“I think we can simplify this to lessen the people’s burden,” he said during a 988 FM radio interview on Monday.”

The new theory test examination will contain 70 multiple-choice questions for those who want to obtain both licences at the same time, with a minimum of 59 questions answered correctly, but for those who are just applying for a single license, the test will have 50 multiple choice questions, with a minimum passing grade of 84%, or 42 questions answered correctly.

Loke also took the time to mention that there will soon be an announcement about the time validity of the renewed driver’s licence, as he wants the government to increase it to 10 years from the current maximum time of 5 years.

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2023 Proton X90 will only be available at selected dealers?

The 2023 Proton X90 was officially previewed yesterday in all of its glory but if you’re planning to buy one in the near future, you might need to check with the dealers first.

Marketed as the brand’s most premium product (and also Proton’s first mild-hybrid model), the D-segment three-row SUV will not be available at all of its 3S and 4S centres here in Malaysia. A Q&A session with Proton’s higher ranks yesterday revealed that only selected dealers will be given the opportunity to sell the upcoming Proton X90.

For the dealers to be eligible to sell and provide aftersales services for future Proton X90 owners, Proton will look into the overall performance of each 3S and 4S centre. Things like sales records, after-sales performance, customer satisfaction, and more will be looked into in order for any of them to be ‘eligible’ to sell the brand’s most premium model yet.

With that being said, this will either be true or it’s a bid from Proton’s HQ to push all of its dealers to improve their overall performances in the coming months, and ultimately, all dealers will be ‘allowed’ to sell the Proton X90 model.

The latter is most likely to be the more logical approach because Proton also mentioned that they’re confident that the Proton X90 will do well in terms of sales. How well? They’re looking at matching the numbers of the Proton X70, which was around 18,500 units sold in 2022.

Production of the new 2023 Proton X90 has already begun at the brand’s plant in Tanjung Malim, Perak. The plan is to build enough stock in the inventory to ensure that once the car is officially launched (we’re guessing it’ll be in May), waiting periods will be kept to a minimum.

To know more about the 2023 Proton X90, CLICK HERE.


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The 2023 Proton X90 will come in FOUR variants – 1.5TGDi BSG engine, six and seven-seater models

More details of the 2023 Proton X90 were revealed earlier today during a media preview – and yes, we can finally confirm that Proton’s upcoming D-segment SUV will be called the X90.

Moving to a more premium segment, the Proton X90 will come in four different variants – Standard, Executive, Premium, and of course, Flagship. All of them will be fitted with the same 1.5TGDi BSG mild-hybrid powertrain that produces 190PS and 300Nm of torque.

Compared to the 1.5TGDi engine found in the Proton X50, the addition of the Belt Start Generator or BSG in the Proton X90 (basically a 48V electric motor) will not only offer more power and torque but also an increase in fuel efficiency by 15%.

Speaking of variants, the 2023 Proton X90 will come in two different seating configurations – seven seats for the Standard, Executive, and Premium variants followed by a more ‘premium’ six-seat configuration for the range-topping Flagship model.

As for design, the ‘evolution’ found in the Proton X90 offers the new ‘Sensual Prestige’ exterior design which offers more premium-ness from the brand. This is highly portrayed via its new front grille that features jewel-like diamond shapes inspired by songket patterns to match with the X90’s new ‘Ethereal Bow’.

As for the ‘Infinite Weave’ grille design, you can still see its essence as part of the background for this new and more premium-looking grille. Not a bad party piece that’s flanked with a set of full LED headlamps and sequential turn signals.

The side profile offers a more muscular yet dynamic profile that emphasises a lot on width and stability apart from just looking like the biggest Proton X model yet.

Riding on a set of 19-inch wheels with a dual five-spoke design, the X90 has indeed been given the premium touch compared to the X70 and X50 models. Hiding behind those is the X90’s multi-link suspension setup.

As for the interior, this premium design DNA has not been left behind thanks to its ‘Inner Haven’ and ‘Appointed Luxury’ interior philosophies. Proton has included its biggest 12.3-inch LCD infotainment head unit (1920×720 HD resolution) together with a dominant centre console.

Other highlights include:

Comfort seats with electric adjustment (Nappa leather AND ventilation)
Expandable boot space up to 2,050 litres
Dual-zone AC with independent rear unit
All-row air vents
G-Clean N95 cabin filter
Interior ambient lighting
Nearby Auto Unlock & Walk-Away Auto Lock
Hands-free tailgate operation + more

Proton also mentioned that the X90’s safety features have been enhanced with three new additions to its Advanced Driver Assistance System or ADAS. These three new features are Rear Collision Waring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Traffic Sign Information.

We’re expecting the all-new 2023 Proton X90 D-segment SUV to be launched sometime in May to commemorate the brand’s 40th anniversary. More details will follow suit, particularly the price, availability, and even which dealer will be selling this new Proton model.


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PUSPAKOM’s monopoly in 2024! Exclusivity to end on September 1st after concession ends

Just like it’s the end of the Touch ‘N Go monopoly, PUSPAKOM too will end its hold on a specific service in Malaysia, as starting next year, it will no longer be the sole provider of periodic vehicle inspection in the country.

The end of March 2023 will forever be memorable because not only has the government announced that it would virtually end Touch’ N Go’s monopoly, but they have also announced that PUSPAKOM will also get some competition soon.

According to a posting on Transport Minister, Anthony Loke’s official Facebook page, PUSPAKOM will no longer be the sole provider of vehicle inspection services for the road transport department starting from September 2024. PUSPAKOM’s concession actually ends on Aug 31, 2024.

The posting continued on by saying that the Cabinet of Ministers has decided that the inspection service of motor vehicles will be opened to any party who is qualified and meets the conditions set after the current concession to PUSPAKOM expires on 31 August 2024.

The process of inviting parties interested in the periodic inspection service of motor vehicles is expected to start in the first quarter of 2024 at the latest.

The decision is in line with the Government’s desire to create a competitive service environment and facilitate all Malaysians.

Regarding the current PUSPAKOM Concession Agreement, which was extended for 15 years in 2009, the Cabinet has agreed to extend the agreement for the same period, effective 1 Sept 2024, with the updated terms, which basically allows the market to be accessible to anyone else that is qualified.