EVs and new cars that excite auto buyers

The hunger for speed and performance remains the No 1 factor car enthusiasts look for

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By TMR File & BLOOMBERG

CARMAKERS are pushing new boundaries in the local automotive scene with new, exciting launches in the past seven months.

The full 7-seater X7 can go from 0 to 100kph in 6.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 245kph

The demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is gaining momentum, while enhanced safety, futuristic infotainment system and connected cars are becoming norms among the new entries.

The hunger for speed and performance remains the No 1 factor car enthusiasts look for.

Total industry volume rose 2.3% or 6,735 units to 296,334 vehicles sold in the first half of 2019 with domestic automakers, Proton Holdings Bhd and Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua), driving up sales with their SUVs.

In the January to June period, Proton sold 15,194 units of X70, while Perodua delivered 15,089 units of Aruz.

The Malaysian Reserve looks at new car launches that could move and shake the local automotive scene for the rest of the year.

Nissan Leaf
Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd (ETCM) recently launched the second generation Nissan Leaf with a host of a supplementary package to lure buyers into the EV space.

The fully imported RM188,000 Leaf (on-the-road without insurance) has a full-charge range of 311km, translating into a driving cost of seven sen per km.

The battery pack supplies power to an electric motor that produces 150PS (110kW) and 320Nm of torque, which enables it to sprint to 100kph in 7.9 seconds from a standstill position with an electronically-limited top speed of 155kph.

ETCM offers a three-year per 100,000km warranty and three-year per 60,000km free service maintenance for the world’s best-selling EV.

The car’s lithium-ion battery has an eight-year per 160,000km warranty.

If that is not enough to give buyers peace of mind of owning an EV, ETCM also provides a car subscription service for the Leaf, which costs RM3,500 a month for a three-year contract. Customers can choose to buy the car at current market value based on prior negotiations, or opt for a new Leaf at the end of the term.

Buyers are also given an annual 23-day complimentary use of a Nissan SUV, MPV or a pick-up truck for long-distance travelling needs during the first three years of ownership.

Mazda 3
The all-new Mazda 3 has arrived in Malaysia in three variants — a 1.5L, 2.0L High and 2.0L High Plus — and in two body styles of sedan and liftback.

The fourth-generation Mazda 3 comes with Kodo, a “Soul of Motion” design philosophy.

The car is equipped with a new generation of Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture for the joy of “Jinba-Ittai” driving, which provides driving feel in harmony with the driver’s intention.

Prices for the liftback and sedan start from RM139,620, including a five-year per 100,000km manufacturer warranty, plus a five-year free maintenance per 100,000km and SkyTint security window tint.

Toyota Yaris
UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd put the all-new Toyota Yaris on the market in three trim levels — J, E and G.

Price starts from RM70,888 for the 1.5J; RM76,888 for the 1.5E; and RM83,888 for the 1.5G.

The Yaris comes with the same 1.5-litre Dual VVT-i engine as its B-segment sedan sibling Vios, with 107PS and 140Nm of torque at 4,200rpm.

The car expresses a youthful vibe with five bold colours available namely “Super White”, “Silver Metallic”, “Attitude Black”, “Red Mica Metallic” and “Citrus Mica Metallic”.

BMW X7
BMW Malaysia Sdn Bhd launched its new SUV, the BMW X7, which is billed as “The 7 Series of SUVs”.

The full seven-seater SUV can go from zero to 100kph in 6.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 245kph.

Bigger and bolder, the X7 is priced at RM888,800 on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of the brand’s five-year warranty and free scheduled service, plus a two-year tyre warranty.

Mercedes-Benz EQC
The German premium carmaker’s answer to Tesla Inc’s Model X is the EQC, the all-electric SUV that has finally made its South-East Asia debut in Kuala Lumpur.

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd said the EQC 400 4Matic is predicted to be available in retail next year.

The all-electric SUV can go up to 450km in a full-electric mode, powered by an 80kWh battery and can accelerate from zero to 100kph in 5.1 seconds, with a top speed of 180kph.

The centrepiece of the EQC is the lithium-ion battery arranged in the vehicle floor.

With an energy content of 80kWh, the EQC employs a sophisticated operating strategy to supply the vehicle with power, enabling an electric range of 445km to 471km.

Porsche Macan
Sime Darby Auto Performance Sdn Bhd, the authorised Porsche importer in Malaysia, launched the new Macan for the local market in June.

The new Macan is tagged from RM455,000 inclusive of a four-year warranty and free maintenance package that includes parts and labour.

The new Macan is powered by a two-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with improved combustion chamber geometry. It delivers 185kW (252hp) and a maximum torque of 370Nm.

In combination with its seven-gear PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe) dual-clutch gearbox, the small SUV can accelerate from zero to 100kph in 6.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 225kph. Its consumption rate is 8.1l per 100km.

The Cullinan is equipped by a 6.75-litre V12 twin-turbo engine, powering the car from standstill to 100kph in 5.1 seconds and with a top speed of 250kph

The new Macan features a three-dimensional LED light strip on the rear, similar to those in the Panamera and Cayenne.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd launched its first-ever SUV, the Cullinan, to attract the younger buyer and family-oriented customers in the super high-end bracket.

The Cullinan is priced from RM1.8 million, offering six Rolls-Royce inspired designs, while presenting bespoke specifications that are limitless.

The Cullinan is equipped by a 6.75- litre V12 twin-turbo engine, powering the car from standstill to 100kph in 5.1 seconds with a top speed of 250kph.

The powertrain produces a maximum torque of 850Nm at 1,600rpm and releases 341g of carbon dioxide per km.

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