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Ford and Apple May Just Have Found the Solution for Range Anxiety
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Ford and Apple May Just Have Found the Solution for Range Anxiety

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For electric vehicle owners, range anxiety and having to constantly guess when and where to re-charge is a constant “headache”, but Ford and Apple may just have found the cure for it.


So Ford, in an effort to help buyers build trust on electric vehicles, and provide peace of mind, have equipped the all-new Mustang Mach-E  SUV with a feature that can predict how much range drivers have left, more accurately.

Called the “Intelligent Range”, the system will calculate range based on past driver behaviour and forecasted weather conditions – taking advantage of the cloud to predict how much energy will be used in future driving.

Ford Range Anxiety Intelligent Range

The vehicle battery system also reports how much energy is available, while the powertrain module tracks how much energy is being used. Warmer or colder weather can impact range, so Intelligent Range takes that into consideration, too, updating estimated range along the way.

Thanks to the feature, the Mustang Mach-E can even track how much energy is used in different circumstances, including varying speed, terrain and climate conditions, so it can use fleet averages across all Mustang Mach-Es to improve range estimates – even for routes and conditions an individual customer has never driven before.

If range is impacted notably by any number of factors at the start of a trip, customers will receive a notification in their cluster highlighting the new range estimate and details about why the estimate has changed.

Ford Range Anxiety Mustang Mach E Interior

On the Brightside, Ford said that it will upgrade the Intelligent Range through over-the-air update, designed to deliver even more accurate prediction capabilities for connected Mustang Mach-E, keeping their fully electric SUVs at the forefront of technology.

A future update will allow Mustang Mach-E to take even more advantage of cloud-connected capabilities, enabling it to factor in real-time traffic conditions, road slope, the terrain and elevation of a given route, and even the temperature at their final destination.

“Changes in driver behaviour and the environment can often impact range, which is the reason other electric vehicles often experience significant range adjustments,” said Mark Poll, electric vehicle charging user experience manager, Ford Motor Company. “Ford is tapping the power of the cloud to make estimates even more accurate – reducing the need for surprise charging stops and to help reduce customers’ anxiety.”

The all-electric Mustang Mach-E – with a targeted pure-electric driving range of up to more than 600 km according to the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) – spearheads a rapidly expanding Ford electrified vehicle range and is one of 18 new electrified vehicles the company is introducing to Europe before the end of 2021.

Besides Ford, Apple is also doing its part in getting rid of range anxiety once and for all. The latest version of Apple's iOS, through the Apple Maps function, will actually offer owners of electric vehicles the ability to plan their route based on charger locations.

According to Apple, the new feature aims to eliminate range anxiety by ensuring that the car can reach the next electric vehicle charging station, by taking into account factors like road elevation, weather, and other elements that consume power.

It is said that Apple Maps on iOS 14 will also monitor the vehicle's current range, keeping an eye on the car's battery usage throughout the journey.

Kia Is Trying To Save The Manual Transmission… And Put Them In Mild-Hybrids
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Kia Is Trying To Save The Manual Transmission… And Put Them In Mild-Hybrids

Auto News

Kia has unveiled more details of its new intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT), which has been designed for the brand’s upcoming mild-hybrid electric vehicles (MHEVs).


The ‘clutch-by-wire’ system is engineered to boost fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions while retaining the driver engagement of a conventional manual transmission.

Instead of being mechanically linked and using hydraulic pressure – Kia’s iMT clutch operates purely electronically and is integrated seamlessly with a 48V mild-hybrid powertrain. The iMT works with the mild-hybrid starter-generator (MHSG) to switch off the engine earlier than the vehicle’s start-stop system when coasting to a halt. 

Kia intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT)

The chosen gear remains engaged even with the engine off. The engine restarts in the same gear as soon as the driver presses either the brake or accelerator pedal thanks to the burst of power provided by the MHSG.

The transmission restarts the engine in neutral (with an open clutch) if the driver pushes the clutch pedal to change gear, or if the vehicle speed is too low for the current engaged gear.

Kia intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT)

Kia claims the iMT will improve overall fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by around three percent in real-world driving conditions.

How it works – step-by-step:

  • The driver leaves the car in-gear as it starts to coast, gently slowing the car down (e.g. for a corner, junction, or for traffic).
  • While in-gear, the iMT sends an electronic signal to the gearbox and MHSG to seamlessly switch off the engine and open the clutch.
  • With the engine switched off, and the transmission disconnected by the open clutch, the car is allowed to coast along to make the most of its kinetic energy.
  • As the driver pushes the accelerator to pick up speed, or engages the clutch to change gear, the MHSG restarts the engine in the driver’s selected gear, or in neutral (with an open clutch).
  • Electric power from the MHSG and 48V battery instantly bring the engine and transmission up to the correct speed.
  • If the car drops below a certain speed, such that it is too low for the engaged gear – the engine restarts with assistance from the mild-hybrid system, and the clutch closes, to avoid labouring the engine in the engaged gear

Although it might be difficult to imagine this without a visual representation, Kia claims that the iMT retains the same operation and driver engagement as a conventional manual.

Kia intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT)

The new system allows drivers to enjoy the uniquely engaging drive that comes from using a manual transmission. The clutch pedal operates in the same manner as a conventional manual, with greater controllability due to the electromechanical control of the clutch and a ‘biting point’ that enables drivers to change gears smoothly.

 The iMT is being developed at the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre in Offenbach, Germany, overseen by Dr Michael Winkler, who added, “An automatic or a dual-clutch transmission suits a lot of drivers, but European drivers in particular still love changing gear for themselves. Alongside the increasing demand for electrified models, the iMT is a result of us exploring ways to electrify the ‘classic’ manual transmission.”

2020 Kia Rio EcoDynamics+

Kia’s new iMT will be first introduced in the 2020 Kia Rio EcoDynamics+, due on sale in Europe in Q3 of 2020 with a new 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol mild-hybrid powertrain.

The new transmission will be adopted across a number of future Kia models, with the brand set to introduce a range of new engines and MHEV powertrains later in 2020.

2020 (G05) BMW X5 xDrive45e Hybrid Launched – The Electrified Goliath Is Back…RM440,745
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2020 (G05) BMW X5 xDrive45e Hybrid Launched – The Electrified Goliath Is Back…RM440,745

Auto News

We take a closer look at the new BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport SUV. Now officially launched in Malaysia.


Hot on the heels of the launch of the all-new (G06) BMW X6, BMW Malaysia has now introduced the much-awaited X5 xDrive45e plug-in hybrid variant of its seminal SUV, or Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) as they like to call it.

The second-generation of BMWs hugely successful hybrid X5 is offered here in its singular ‘M Sport’ trim package, priced at RM440,745, OTR excluding insurance, the recent sales tax exemption resulted in a further RM8k drop, from RM448,800.

That price makes the X5 xDrive45e roughly RM60k more than its closest competitor, the Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV. However, the hybrid's pricetag is roughly RM200k less than the non-hybrid BMW X5 xDrive40i first introduced last year.

BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport Exterior

In terms of the platform, the new X5 has much in common with its sedan compatriots. Underpinning it is a variant of BMW’s CLAR platform first brought in with the 7 Series and eventually implemented with the current 5 Series and 3 Series.

The locally-assembled model xDrive45e (45e) is powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine packing BMW’s ‘eDrive’ technology delivering a maximum output of 394hp and a combined peak torque of 600Nm.

BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport Engine

Those figures represent a 78hp increase of power and a whopping 150Nm increase in torque over the previous (F15) X5 xDrive40e model, and an increase of 54hp and 150Nm over the non-hybrid X5 xDrive40i  – this makes the 45e the most powerful 'non-M' X5 ever sold in Malaysia.

It’s not just the power that has increased, efficiency is up too, in ‘full-electric’ mode, the 45e has an electric driving range of up to 77km (up from 30km for the previous 40e) on a full charge, and is able to travel at a top speed of 135km/h. This courtesy of the latest-generation Lithium-Ion batteries fitted under the rear floor. The new 45e also features a low fuel consumption of 2.5 l/100km and claimed carbon emissions of 56g/km.

BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport PHEV Charger

Power is sent to BMW’s seminal 8-speed Steptronic transmission which is integrated with the synchronous electric motor. From there, power is transmitted to all four wheels via BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system. The New X5 45e is now also equipped with the 2-Axle air suspension on the front and rear axles, maximising its dynamic ability and comfort levels. Performance figures read 5.6 seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint and a top speed of 235km/h.

On the outside, the M Sport package adds 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in Star-Spoke style 740 M Bicolour, along with the signature M Sport brakes, finished in blue.

BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport Interior

Here’s a shortlist of the major equipment of the X5 xDrive45e:

  • 20-inch M light-alloy wheels
  • Panoramic glass roof
  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • BMW Display Key
  • Vernasca genuine leather upholstery
  • LED ambient lighting
  • 4-zone automatic air-conditioning
  • Contactless opening and closing tailgate
  • 12.3-inch BMW Live Cockpit Professional instrument panel 
  • BMW Gesture control infotainment
  • Dual 10.2-inch touch screen monitors for rear passengers 
  • 16-speaker (464W) Harman Kardon sound system
  • Active Cruise Control 
  • Lane departure warning and lane change warning
  • Front Collision Warning with brake intervention
  • Rear cross-traffic collision alert and prevention
  • Heads-up Display
  • Surround view camera
  • Parking Assist Plus With Reverse Assistant (records last 50 metres of the journey)

Additionally, the xDrive45e is equipped with Comfort Access 2.0 which enables contactless locking and unlocking, meaning the door handle does not need to be grabbed or touched to lock or unlock the vehicle. Sensors on each side of the vehicle will recognise the vehicle key and lock/unlock the vehicle when the driver approaches or walks away from the car. 

BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport Bootspace

Contactless opening/closing is also available at the back with the top and bottom section of the tailgate opened electronically when one slides waves their feet under the rear bumper. The boot itself offers 500 litres of luggage space, which can be increased to 1,720 litres with the rear seats lowered. 

Colour offerings for the New BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport include Phytonic Blue, Black Sapphire, Mineral White and Artic Grey. They will be complemented with exquisite interior upholstery of Leather ‘Vernasca’ design perforations in black and a fine-wood trim ‘Fineline Stripe’ with brown high-gloss.

BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport Interior Rear

As an added option, the exterior of the BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport can be upgraded to feature BMW M Performance accessories, such as the front air inlet, exterior mirror cap, front and rear winglets, and rear diffuser in carbon fibre.

BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport customers will receive the full suite of manufacturer support which includes the following:

  • BMW 5-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty with Free Scheduled Service Programme
  • BMW 2-Year/ 24 Month Tyre Warranty Programme for its Run Flat Tyre offering and services
  • BMW Roadside Assistance and Accident Hotline
  • The BMW Group Loyalty+ Mobile App - BMW White Card
  • BMW Service Online

BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport Exterior

Additionally from now until 31st December 2020, purchase of the New BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport will entitle new owners to an extended battery warranty of 8-year / 160,000km (whichever comes first), improved from the previous 6-year / 100,000km warranty programme.

Ride Protect: Apply Car Wax Like A DIY Boss
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Ride Protect: Apply Car Wax Like A DIY Boss

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Having a clean car is great but keeping it clean isn’t always easy, but there’s no better and easier way to add a protective layer over your paint and improve its gloss and clarity than by using a quality wax. 


With the right product properly applied, it will give your car a lasting shine and slickness while the hydrophobic properties keep water and other contaminants from sticking to the surface, sort of like a suit of armour. Better still, consistent care can theoretically preserve your car’s paint to look fresh and like-new indefinitely. What’s not to love? 

Car Care - Water Beads

A Nasty Reality

We’ll assume you’ve got your car washed and it is squeaky clean, which is great and a nice first step to keeping your car looking top notch for longer. However, there are so many sources of dirt and contamination that will immediately start to bombard your car’s freshly cleaned paint as soon as you start driving.

  • Leaked brake and transmission fluid, garbage water, petrol, diesel - all collected in puddles.
  • Acidic bird droppings and tree sap that can etch itself into the paint surface.
  • Iron and tar particles being thrown up by other vehicles from the road. 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of a much longer list of contaminants, but just imagine all the gunk that could be lying on our road surfaces and, chances are, your car has had to deal with that being smeared onto its paint to some degree. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. 

Washing A Rolls Royce

Unless your car’s paint is clearly in dire straits, there’s no need to lose sleep over how much nasty stuff is resting on your car. All modern cars have a layer of durable clear coat that rests over the base layer of paint. This layer is what takes the punishment so that the actual colour (basecoat) of your car isn’t impacted.

However, with sustained abuse, how much can the long-suffering clear coat endure before it’s worn down entirely? Having some form of paint protection is essential to keep it fortified, letting that layer of wax or sealant take the punishment instead. 

Soft99 Product Range

The Sea Of Choice

What Are Waxes, What Are Sealants? 

Essentially, there are 3 types commonly accepted forms of paint protection: Wax, Sealant, and a Ceramic Coating. That said, the steps and requirements needed to properly apply a sealant are identical to a wax. In fact, sealants are often marketed as ‘wax’ to not confuse customers despite their differences in classification. 

Ceramic coatings, while more durable and longer lasting, require more preparation and is less forgiving if applied incorrectly, which is why most are applied by professionals. For those reasons as well as some others, we won’t be covering that category of paint protection today. 

Swissvax Scuderia

Wax: Traditionally, a wax has been defined as a protective layer formulated (or based on) from materials that are naturally derived. Carnauba, an extract of palm trees found in Brazil, is well known as a main ingredient for high end automotive waxes due to its smooth and hydrophobic surface characteristics as well as its tendency to boost the clarity, saturation and depth.

Many - if not all - exotics and concours show cars will use a carnauba wax because of its unique look, described as a warm glow. However, organic-based waxes like this aren’t especially durable with a paste or liquid product lasting between 2-6 weeks before a reapplication is called for, especially in tropical climates such as ours. This is why many pure waxes have been fortified with inorganic polymers to increase longevity. 

Sealant: As technology progressed and to get around the shortcomings of naturally-derived waxes, man-made synthetic alternatives were developed. With much improved chemical and high temperature resistance over traditional waxes, they are definitely hardier and more suited to the pure task of paint protection, easily lasting several months and even up to a full year, but have historically not been able to deliver the visual enhancement of organic (specifically, carnauba-based) waxes. However, the most cutting edge in paint sealants technology is getting better at mimicking the sought-after look of high grade carnauba. 

Paste, liquid, or spray: When dealing with a wax or sealant in spray form, the general trade-off is diminished longevity and durability due to it requiring many emulsifiers and solvents to keep it in a thin water-like liquid state, taking down the actual content and concentration of wax or sealant base ingredient. On the upside, application can be much quicker and easier compared to products in a hard paste or creamy liquid. Generally, the thicker it is, the more concentrated the protection is and the more durable and lasting the protection will be. 

Spray Wax Application

The Down and Dirty - Just Wash and Apply It, The End: 

There’s a lot of noise about how exactly to apply a wax and the potentially dire consequences of messing it up. The truth is, there’s really not all that much to it. Once you’ve established what works best for you, waxing your car can be downright relaxing, even therapeutic.

In all instances, applying a wax needs to be done on a clean car, meaning one that has been freshly washed and dried. Applying on a dirty surface means rubbing in the dirt and contamination already resting on the car, and that’s the easiest route to a scratched-up mess. Secondly, always apply in the shade and on a car that’s already cool to the touch.

We’ll start with spray waxes first (using ‘wax’ and ‘sealant’ interchangeably from here on out). All you’ll need is a medium sized microfibre towel or two. The most direct method would be to spray a few spritzes on the panel before using the microfibre to spread the product and buff it dry, flipping the towel as necessary. 

Spray Wax Application

Alternatively, and to conserve product, you could spray onto the towel itself. It’s also important to change towels if you feel it’s heavy and saturated with product, nullifying its ability to buff dry, making this second method a little safer for beginners. If in doubt, always err on the side of using less product rather than more. 

The ‘less is more’ approach also applies to liquid and paste type waxes, even more so because leaving an overly thick layer upon application can make the process more difficult than it needs to be. You’ll still need a couple of microfibre towels for later but application should be done with a dedicated applicator pad made from either foam or soft microfibre. These are usually circular for easy handling in your palm, but also to fit into the paste wax tin.

Meguiars Pro Ceramic Sealant

Once you’ve applied a few dabs from the paste medium (or drops of liquid wax) onto the applicator pad, systematically massage the product into the panel, taking your time and using minimal pressure to leave a thin and evenly coated layer. This can be done either in circular or straight patterns, but the name of the game is to leave a thin and even coat.

It’s recommended to work panel by panel, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the product and its behaviour, as every wax product has different recommendations for how long it should be left to cure. Removal follows this step, usually after the wax layer has hazed up and doesn’t smear upon lightly rubbing a finger across a small area. If the haziness is removed to reveal the clear coat beneath, it should be ready for removal.

Meguiars Mirror Bright Spray

Again, use minimal pressure and a clean microfibre towel. Some products are inherently more user friendly and will be absolutely effortless to remove while others might call for some elbow grease. Should an area be proving difficult, use a quick spritz of your favourite spray wax or quick detailer to add some lubricity and emulsification to the hardened residue. 

With the wax removed and the process repeated on all painted surfaces, your car should be looking like it’s fresh from the showroom - or even better than new. Congratulations, you’ve taken your first step into a larger world….of car detailing. 

Meguiars Surface Prep

Brownie Points: It’s All About The Prep

Most waxes will be perfectly fine if applied onto a car that’s freshly washed, but the bond between the clear coat (or painted surface) will not likely be as strong. To ensure maximum durability and gloss, it’s always recommended to perform a paint decontamination as well as a light polish first. 

Extracting the maximum potential of any wax or sealant requires application on a ‘virgin’ panel, one that’s free of bonded contaminants, stray chemicals, and even leftover oils from past waxes. If you’re experiencing lacklustre performance from your new wax product, a strong bond may not have been achieved if you’re laying the wax atop a surface that’s already gunked up with other products and contaminants. 

Proper preparation is a multi-step process and, depending on the condition of the vehicle, can require special attention to achieve a surface that’s totally clean and pristine that’s ready to accept the new layer of wax protection. We’ll cover this in a future tutorial, hopefully, a video to really get the message across.

Updated Malaysia Price List After Sales Tax discount
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Updated Malaysia Price List After Sales Tax discount

Auto News

We compile the revised pricing from all car manufacturers in one location for your consumption.


The reduced car pricing from manufacturers based on the government's PENJANA short term economic recovery plan is starting to roll out now, and to make life easier for those who would like to see what the price differences are, we've compiled them all together in one place.

On the 5th of June 2020, the government announced that sales tax would be waived for all new CKD cars until the end of the year. Although not as significant as CKD cars, CBU cars will also enjoy a tax break incentive and see their sales tax cut down to 5 percent.

Although it doesn't sound much at first, the list down below shows that it has shaved quite a sum off the original prices. If you're also wondering why there are no pickups on this list it is because they are classified as commercial vehicles and do not qualify for the sales tax exemption. 

BMW

BMW pricelist

Volvo

Volvo pricelist

Honda

Honda pricelist

Volkswagen

VW pricelist

Toyota

Toyota pricelist

Toyota pricelist 2

Lexus

Lexus pricelist

Mazda

Mazda pricelist

Mercedes Benz

Mercedes pricelist

Mercedes Pricelist 2

MINI

MINI pricelist

Renault

Renault pricelist

Perodua

Perodua pricelist1Perodua pricelist 2

Mitsubishi

MItsubishi pricelist

Proton

Proton pricelist

KIA

Citroen & DS

Citroen and DS pricelist

Nissan

Nissan pricelist

Peugeot

Peugeot pricelist

 

Audi

Audi pricelist

Porsche

Porsche pricelist