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Art of Speed Malaysia 2023 still rocking hard after 12 years

The 12th Art of Speed Malaysia (AOS 2023) concluded its annual mega show this past weekend by clocking in over 65,000 visitors in the span of only two days.

Just like in previous years, there were many international guest stars and appearances, including some notable customised vehicles from various countries. Even in 2023 after 12 years in the scene, Malaysia’s premier Old-Skool & Kustom Kulture event managed to rock even bigger ad harder this year.

Even Hot Wheels and Proton took the opportunity to announce the winner of its packaging design competition for the brand’s first-ever Proton diecast model, the iconic 1985 Proton Saga, which will officially be available in December 2023 (followed by the Special Edition in 2024).

Taking over a total of four halls at MAEPS Serdang, there were plenty of things to do and vehicles to look at. The main hall was decked out with the likes of Harley-Davidson, Royal Enfield, Triumph Motorcycles, Vespa, and more alongside some of the nicest customised and modified cars you’ve ever seen under one roof.

If that wasn’t enough, Hall C featured more eye-candy beauties within the NEAT Fest organised by, Off The Grid camping and outdoors exhibition, and many more in Hall D thanks to Hail Vintage which focused on vintage collectibles, and Streetwear Con for those who are into the latest streetwear fashion.

Perhaps the latest addition to the whole mix in recent years was the SoundCircus Festival, a two-day music festival that rocked the ground with performances by Superman is Dead, Massacre Conspiracy (MC16), Restrait, Naratu, and more.

At the end of the day, Art of Speed Malaysia is still the one to beat when it comes to the country’s leading Old-Skool & Kustom Kulture event. We were simply blown away by this year’s spectacle as we reminisced back on their growth over the years.

It’s going to be hard for them to one-up this in 2024, but we’re pretty sure that they’ll pull it off.

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Hot Wheels Proton Saga Special Edition unveiled at Art of Speed 2023

It’s official, folks. The iconic 1985 Proton Saga will be the first Proton model to be made into a Hot Wheels diecast and it’s going into production in December 2023.

The announcement came last week during the Art of Speed Malaysia 2023 event where the folks from Mattel Malaysia, Hot Wheels, and Proton announced the winner of the Hot Wheels x PROTON Kids Design Competition for kids.

9-year-old Saw Jane Harn hailing from Penang emerged as the victor where her artwork will be used for the packaging for the upcoming Hot Wheels Proton Saga Special Edition. And yes, Saw will be the first kid in the world to be given this opportunity to design a Hot Wheels packaging.

According to Azlan Othman, Chief Designer at Proton (and also one of the judges for the design competition), “The Malaysian elements Jane Harn chose for her design are a quintessential summation of our beautiful country. We thought that her artful execution of these undeniably Malaysian icons would set a wonderful backdrop for the Hot Wheels Proton Saga.”

The 1:64 scale diecast of Malaysia’s first national car marked a significant milestone for Proton as well as Mattel Malaysia when the collaboration was announced back in 2022.

This time around, they’ve confirmed that the Hot Wheels Proton Saga model will go into production at the end of 2023 and will be available in over 150 countries around the world.

As for the Hot Wheels Proton Saga Special Edition with Saw’s beautiful artwork position as part of the diecast’s packaging, that will be released in 2024.

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The Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro begins Chery’s bold march to captivate Malaysia

In early July, Malaysians finally witnessed the market debut of two very anticipated entrants into the SUV space, the Chery Omoda 5 and the Tiggo 8 Pro, which were already earmarked for arrival as far back as late 2021 when the brand held a widely publicised preview campaign.

Though the gulf between said sneak peek and showroom presence is quite a lengthy one, Chery had been busy laying the groundwork to ensure their eventual return to the Malaysian market was supported by some very core pillars of the new car buying and ownership experience to keep precious customers happy over the long run.

In the lead up to this July grand premiere, Chery had also had a large presence at the Malaysian Auto Show two months prior where thousands were given the opportunity to get up close and personal with the two models that would be spearheading the blitz.

Needless to say, people came away impressed. Really, all that was missing were an exact price and a detailed specification sheet, items promised to arrive in the coming months.

A Strong Local Foundation

Rather than expedite the market entry and launch the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro as CBU units with local assembly slated for some time in the future, Chery opted to take the longer route, partnering with Inokom.

This means that every Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro offered to buyers here from the outset will roll out of an assembly facility in Kulim with plans to establish an R&D centre for their right-hand drive (RHD) cars as part of their long term investment with hybrids and fully electric cars as a key part of their roadmap.

This embedded integration, localisation and alignment effort with Malaysia’s broader automotive ambitions has culminated in the segment shattering prices that both the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro made their debut with – the range starting at RM108,800 for the former and RM159,800 for the latter.

Chery also made certain that deliveries could commence as soon as the July launch event concluded with CKD operations beginning August, backed up by the announcement that 31 dealerships (and counting) in both Peninsula and East Malaysia would be up and running by then as well.

If that wasn’t quite enough, both the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro were first to feature Chery’s impressive 7-year or 150,000km warranty, which would be extended to 10 years and a shocking 1 million kilometre engine warranty for the first 3,000 customers. Those wanting that same coverage but find themselves further down the order list can do so by topping up an additional RM2,000 – well worth it, if you ask us!

Chery Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro – A Dynamic Duo

As good as they appear on paper, the in-person impression that Chery’s SUV duo impart is one of quality well above their asking price in both design and execution. Time will tell how well these cars hold up in daily use and abuse, but from our vantage point, we’re not especially concerned.

With the Omoda 5, the entry point into the brand at this point, things are off to a great start with its sleekly designed exterior and funky elements. Step inside and the wow factor is uninterrupted with a cabin blurs the line between mass market and cars on the higher end spectrum.

Spec-for-spec, it ticks all the boxes and then some, but its perceived value goes beyond what we expect for this price. Entering the highly competitive upper B-segment is no mean feat, but this car should give category heavyweights some definite pause.

Then you’ve got the Tiggo 8 Pro, a 3-row seat SUV that, in terms of design, is more sedate and ‘European’ than its smaller stablemate, choosing an elegant aesthetic over the Omoda 5’s youthful exuberance.

Still, you would be hard-pressed to not be struck by the quality and execution of the Tiggo 8 Pro’s cabin, which rivals vehicles with a badge from German or Swedish marques. Things are very plush but matched to great ergonomics and tech for both convenience and safety.
Both models are powered by turbocharged direct-injection petrol engines which offer very competitive outputs for their class – this is especially true for the Tiggo 8 Pro’s 256hp and 390Nm from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit.

So far, Chery’s big game plan has only just begun playing out, but it’s not hard to see them faring pretty well in the coming months and years given how strong this opening act is. We can’t wait to see their Malaysian model line-up continue to expand.

The After Sales Focus

Understanding the importance of customer satisfaction, Chery has invested tremendous effort in making sure their cars and their owners alike are well taken care of throughout that journey.

With that in mind, and to keep their growing nationwide 3S centres fully supported, Chery have set up a comprehensive logistics and parts warehousing solution with Tiong Nam to eliminate shortages and other supply issues.

They have also detailed a comprehensive service and maintenance schedule for the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro at competitive rates so that customers are well informed on the parts, consumables, costs and intervals associated with ownership, ensuring transparency while keeping the vehicle in tip top shape.

Customers can also call upon a dedicated Chery care hotline (03 2771 7070) where operators ready to assist in all matters from ownership to servicing to other after sales matters so that help and pertinent information are never far away.

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2023 Mazda CX-60 now available in Indonesia – from RM358,000

The all-new 2023 Mazda CX-60 has been officially launched in Indonesia with a price tag of IDR1,188,800,000 (around RM358,000).

The arrival of the Mazda CX-60 in Indonesia also marks the third ASEAN country to receive this model following the Philippines and Singapore. With the asking price, it’s also the latest and most expensive Mazda offering in Singapore as well as Indonesia.

Perhaps the biggest highlight for Mazda’s latest and greatest premium SUV would be its powertrain – the e-Skyactiv 3.3-litre turbocharged inline-six petrol engine paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system called the M Hybrid Boost positioned between the petrol engine and its eight-speed automatic transmission.

This allows the 2023 Mazda CX-60 to churn out a combined power output of 284PS and 450Nm of torque. The same powertrain is available for both variants of the Mazda CX-60 in the Indonesian market, which are Kuro Design and Elite Design (both similarly priced as well).

The Elite Design variant comes with a set of 20-inch diamond-cut wheels, a bar-type front grille, and a bright chrome signature wing. The exterior differences for the Kuro, on the other hand, can be differentiated via its 20-inch gloss black wheels, honeycomb-type front grille, and dark chrome signature wing.

The insides are also different with the Elite variant coming in hot with its Pure White Nappa Leather interior together with maple wood and woven fabric trims. The Kuro edition comes with Tan Nappa Leather combined with suede material for a slightly different take on a Mazda premium SUV.

Other highlights include:

Two 12.3-inch full LCD displays
Panoramic sunroof
Kinematic Posture Control (KPC)
12-speaker Bose sound system + more

Not forgetting the safety features, both versions of the Mazda CX-60 in Indonesia come with specs like driver monitoring, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Cruising and Traffic Support, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, plus many more.

If you’re a fan of the Mazda Jinba-Ittai philosophy, the Mazda CX-60 further elevates this with what the Mazda engineers call the Perfect Jinba-Ittai. Perfect balance, perfect harmony, man and machine, nature and humanity.


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Bomba details guidelines EV charging station installation

Guidelines on EV charging station installation within commercial premises have been submitted by the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM or Bomba) to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT).

The new guidelines will be evaluated first before they are officially announced in the near future. The folks over at Bomba have worked closely with other relevant bodies like the Malaysia Architects Association and Zero Emission Vehicle Association (ZEVA) to ensure that the guidelines are within the safe parameters, Bernama reported.

Many things were considered in coming up with the guidelines from vehicle distance, the premise’s entry and exit points, and building levels when it comes to EV charging station installation.

This will be the main reference point for all future EV charging station installations for both indoor and outdoor locations. All applications and approval procedures will be scrutinised in order to ensure that none of these stations will potentially become a fire safety hazard.

It’s indeed a good guideline to have considering the fact that Malaysia is looking to bump up the number of EV charging stations from the current 1,000+ units to 10,000 by 2025. 

In the meantime, the Fire and Rescue Department has also begun arming its personnel to be able to deal with EV fires with things like special fire extinguishing equipment, including special gloves which have already been a staple in all Bomba vehicles since 2015.


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2023 Honda City Facelift: A closer look at the refreshed sedan’s key updates and new features

The facelifted 2023 Honda City sedan is set to arrive soon, and it comes with several key updates in addition to its visual changes.

Bookings are now open, and the car is no longer a secret, giving us a glimpse of what’s to come. Let’s take a closer look at some of the updates for the model. For reference, we have utilised pictures of the Thai spec car as they would be the same for our market.

Exterior Changes

The new 2023 Honda City flaunts a refreshed exterior design, moving away from the angular lines of the pre-facelift version and adopting a sleeker appearance closer to the Civic.

The front bumper is slightly elongated, featuring a sharper lip, and the foglamp covers are smaller, giving it a cleaner look. The updated City also boasts new dual-tone wheels, though some might find the previous ones sportier.

At the rear, a new bumper with an aggressive diffuser has been added, enhancing the car’s overall appearance.

Regarding colour options, the current range is expected to remain, including Ignite Red Metallic, Platinum White Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, Meteoroid Grey Pearl, and Crystal Black Pearl. There’s a possibility that the new WR-V’s Stellar Diamond Pearl might be introduced later.

Interior Improvements

While details about the Malaysian-spec interior are yet to be revealed, it is expected to be similar to the Thailand model in terms of aesthetics and features.

Potential updates include new red detailing around the dash and two additional USB-C ports at the back. The infotainment system in ‘normal’ variants now comes with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a change from the previous wired connection. Additionally, the RS models now feature combination leather plus synthetic leather upholstery.

Honda Sensing Update

One of the notable upgrades is the safety department. The Thai-market version receives Low-Speed Follow (LSF) for its adaptive cruise control (ACC) system, along with Lead Car Departure Notification (LCDN). Other advanced driver-assistance features like Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), and Auto High Beam (AHB) are also available.

The good news is that Honda Sensing will now be standard across all variants of the City sedan in Malaysia.

Powertrain Options

In terms of powertrain options, the new 2023 Honda City is expected to retain the same choices as the previous version:

1.5-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine with 121 PS/145 Nm, mated to a dual-motor hybrid powerplant with a combined output of 253 Nm, paired with an e-CVT

In conclusion, the 2023 Honda City facelift brings meaningful updates to freshen up the model in a competitive segment. The enhanced ADAS system is a significant improvement, and although a price increase is likely due to these updates, the official figures will be revealed during the launch. Currently, the City sedan is priced as follows:

Honda City 1.5L S – RM 77,600
Honda City 1.5L E – RM 85,600
Honda City 1.5L V – RM 90,600
Honda City 1.5L V Sensing – RM 94,600
Honda City 1.5L RS – RM 108,800

The updated City will undoubtedly be a worthy contender against its rivals, such as the all-new 2023 Toyota Vios.

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KL police goes hard on motorists, issues 5,600 summonses a day

The Kuala Lumpur Police force has been on a roll these past few weeks with over 5,600 summonses issued every day.

In the past three weeks of the “Respect Traffic Laws Ops”, a total of 117,745 summonses were issued in the special operation against drivers who disobey the law. That’s over 5,000 drivers caught red-handed every single day, and that’s just in KL.

And the majority of them weren’t even for major offences. According to the Star, around 83% of the summonses issued in the past three weeks were related to traffic obstruction. We’re guessing that the folks over at PDRM are not playing around anymore, especially for those who contribute to making the traffic congestion worse in the heart of the city like double parking.

These offenses also included an act that a good number of Malaysians don’t really take seriously – stopping beyond the white lines at traffic lights or junctions as well as those yellow-painted boxes that nobody should stop in to give way to traffic.

According to KL’s JSPT chief ACP Sarifudin Mohd Salleh, “This operation is to educate road users, but with enforcement. There will no longer be any tolerance. They need to learn to respect the law.”

Try doing the math for RM300 for each summons. July has been a very progressive month for the KL Police, eh? For the rest, please drive safely and obey all traffic laws. Be considerate as well because believe it or not, being nice on the road might help everyone to get home faster.

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2023 BYD Dolphin EV launched: Malaysia’s best entry-level EV is priced from RM99,900!

Exciting news for electric vehicle enthusiasts in Malaysia as Sime Darby Motors has launched the highly anticipated BYD Dolphin EV, offering an affordable and feature-packed option for those looking to make the switch to emission-free driving.

The Dolphin EV, which has been garnering attention globally, is now available in Malaysia with a starting price of just RM99,900, making it one of the best-priced EVs in the market at the moment.

The Dolphin EV comes in two variants, each catering to different driving needs and preferences – the Standard Range and the Extended Range. With its competitive pricing and impressive specifications, the Dolphin EV is poised to be a game-changer in the EV segment in Malaysia.

The Dynamic Standard Range Variant – RM99,900

The Standard Range variant of the BYD Dolphin EV is priced at an attractive RM99,900, offering a great option for budget-conscious EV buyers. Despite its affordable price tag, the Standard Range variant does not compromise on performance or features.

It comes with a WLTP-certified range of 410km, powered by a 44.9kWh battery. The motor produces 94hp of power and 180Nm of torque, enabling a respectable 0-100km/h acceleration time of 12.3 seconds.

The Dolphin EV Standard Range also features a max DC charging capacity of 60kW, ensuring quick and convenient charging options for users on the go.

The Premium Extended Range Variant – RM124,900

For those seeking more range and higher performance, the Extended Range variant of the BYD Dolphin EV is available at RM124,900. This variant offers an extended WLTP-certified range of 490km, thanks to its larger 60.48kWh battery.

The motor in this variant is more potent, producing 201hp of power and 310Nm of torque, resulting in a swift 0-100km/h acceleration time of 7.0 seconds.

The Extended Range variant also boasts a higher max DC charging capacity of 80kW, enabling even faster charging times to keep users on the move with ease. Rear suspension on the extended range is also different, featuring a multi-link set-up, compared to the standard range’s torsion beam.

Impressive Safety Features

Despite its competitive pricing, the BYD Dolphin EV doesn’t skimp on safety. Both variants come well-equipped with advanced safety features to ensure a secure driving experience. These features include:

Autonomous emergency braking
Adaptive cruise control
Rear cross traffic alert and brake
Lane keep assist
Predictive collision warning
Blind spot detection
Lane departure prevention

Other differences between the two variants

Although a lot of the equipment is the same, there are some extra bits of kit on the extended-range variant. These extra bits of kit include:

Extra exterior and interior colours (Surf Blue/Urban Grey paint jobs and blue and black interior)
Panoramic Glass roof
Mobile phone wireless charging
Power-adjusted front passenger seat
Ventilated front seats

Want to try the BYD Dolphin immediately? Here’s how:

For those eager to experience the BYD Dolphin EV firsthand, a public test drive event has been organized at 1 Utama Old Wing open air car park from Friday, 28th July, until Sunday, 30th July 2023. This event offers a perfect opportunity for potential buyers to explore the capabilities of the Dolphin EV and get a feel for the smooth and silent driving experience that electric vehicles offer.

The test drive event will also have knowledgeable staff on hand to answer any questions and provide detailed information about the Dolphin EV’s features, specifications, and charging infrastructure.

In conclusion, the arrival of the BYD Dolphin EV in Malaysia is a significant milestone in the country’s journey towards sustainable and eco-friendly transportation. With its affordable pricing, impressive range, and advanced safety features, the Dolphin EV is set to make electric mobility more accessible to a wider audience.

Whether you are a budget-conscious buyer or someone looking for an extended range EV, the Dolphin EV has something to offer for everyone.

Don’t miss the chance to be a part of the electric revolution and experience the future of driving at the upcoming test drive event. Embrace the power of electric mobility with the BYD Dolphin EV! 

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Kia Sorento gets a facelift for 2024 with a sexier front end

The first few images of the 2024 Kia Sorento has been released showcasing a facelifted version of the fourth-generation model.

Refreshed for the coming year, the 2024 Kia Sorento features a few stylistic changes for the exterior as well as the interior for the mid-cycle update.

Having said that, the visual updates won’t be as drastic but the new front fascia does provide a very different-looking Sorento indeed. First and foremost, the entire front end has been updated in order to incorporate the new T-shaped LED headlights and DRL strips in line with the front Kia logo which has been moved away from the grille and onto the end of the front bonnet.

This offers a more pronounced and complete look for the front grille as well as the lower air intake paired with those separated fog lights, larger side air curtains, and a silver skid plate. Black would’ve been great but silver works too, we guess.

Other updates that can be seen from the outside are the newly-designed alloy wheels, slightly revised rear taillights with new graphics, repositioned reverse lights, and fog lights under the rear silver skid plate. Take a while to soak these minor changes in because when it comes to design, the folks over at Kia know what they’re doing.

Step inside and the changes are not as extensive as the exterior. The facelifted Sorento will feature slimmer AC vents to may way for the larger infotainment touchscreen in the middle. It also looks like the AC controls have been updated with capacitive buttons just like the ones found in the EV6.

So far, only the design updates have been released. More details regarding the facelifted 2024 Kia Sorento will be shared in the coming weeks. For now, we approve the looks with both thumbs high up in the air.


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2024 Mitsubishi Triton debuts with tougher looks and more power – Up to 204PS and 470Nm

Mitsubishi has unveiled its latest pickup truck, the 2024 Triton, at an event in Bangkok, Thailand. This sixth-generation Triton will replace the current model dating back to 2015.

The new Triton will be available globally in three body styles: single-cab, club-cab, and double-cab. It comes equipped with a newly developed 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, available in three different power tunes.

The least powerful version generates 150PS of power and 330Nm of torque, while there are also 184PS/430Nm and high-output 204PS/470Nm versions.

The latter features a bi-turbo sequential layout. Although Mitsubishi Malaysia hasn’t confirmed which versions will come to Malaysia, the high-output model, if available, would bring the Triton closer in power to competitors like the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger Bi-Turbo.

The new Triton will offer both a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic transmission, with the automatic retaining the ‘Sports’ mode from the outgoing model. Depending on the engine tune, the drive can be sent to the rear wheels only or through a four-wheel drive system.

For four-wheel-drive models, Mitsubishi offers two different systems. The Easy Select 4WD system has 2H (rear-wheel drive), 4H (locked centre differential), and 4L (low-range) modes.

On the other hand, the Super Select 4WD-II system provides 2H, 4H (full-time four-wheel drive), 4HLc (locked centre differential), and 4LLc (locked centre differential with low range) modes, with the last one usable on sealed surfaces.

Mitsubishi has made significant improvements to the Triton’s road performance with a newly developed ladder-frame chassis that offers better ride comfort and robustness.

The chassis boasts a 65% greater cross-sectional area, resulting in a claimed 40% increase in bending rigidity and a 60% increase in torsional rigidity. The use of high-tensile steel has helped minimize weight.

The new Triton also features upgraded suspension, retaining the double-wishbone front and rear leaf spring configuration. The front suspension’s upper mounting arm has been raised to improve road holding and ride comfort, while the rear suspension incorporates a lighter leaf spring system and thicker shock absorbers.

In terms of design, the new Triton showcases Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield grille with a split headlight setup at the front, and T-shaped lighting signature tail lights at the rear. The cargo bed height has been lowered, and the rear bumper corner reinforced to serve as a foot space.

Inside, the cabin has been extensively overhauled, following a “horizontally themed” design with geometric shapes and metallic highlights. Safety features include autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Mitsubishi is leading the development of the new Triton as part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s leader-follower model, where the next Nissan Navara will share underpinnings but with different styling.