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Monday, January 20, 2014

VW WRC Team Wins in Monte Carlo!!! Official Press Release

“Monte” victory! Dream start to the WRC for Ogier and Volkswagen

  • Volkswagen triumphs at opening round of the WRC in Monte Carlo
  •  Defending champions Ogier/Ingrassia claim second “Monte” win of their careers
  •  All three Polo R WRCs in the points at the iconic rally
Triumph at the Rally Monte Carlo – Volkswagen opened the new season of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a dream result. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) produced an irresistible fightback and an outstanding driving display to secure victory on the first weekend of the 2014 season. The success at the “Monte” is their 17th victory in the WRC, and their tenth with Volkswagen. The win was the duo’s second at the rally classic, having previously won in 2009 when the event in the Mediterranean principality did not form part of the world championship. Second place went to Ford driver Bryan Bouffier, who won here in 2011, with Citroën’s Kris Meeke taking third.

The competitors at the notorious “Monte”, also known as “The Unpredictable One”, faced extremely difficult weather and road conditions. Rain in the valleys, snow at altitude – as has often been the case in the past, tyre selection was the decisive factor at the “Monte”. Volkswagen ended the classic with all three Polo R WRCs in the points. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN) picked up valuable points in fifth and seventh place respectively.

Typical “Monte” – tricky tyre selection makes for excitement, weather for chaos

The sudden onset of winter in the French Maritime Alps and heavy rain in the valleys – the start of the Rally Monte Carlo literally caught everyone cold. Based on the weather data available, the Volkswagen drivers opted for virtually tread-free slicks for the first three special stages of the “Monte”. With the shock arrival of snow in the principality, this made driving a real challenge. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia and their team-mates lost a lot of time in these conditions. The World Champions found themselves back in ninth place. They showed their undoubted class from the fifth stage onwards, however, finishing consistently in the top-three from then on in and winning seven special stages. By the midway point of the “Monte” they had moved into the lead and never looked back. 

Weather conditions were so extreme that the 14th special stage of the Rally Monte Carlo had to be cancelled. So much snow fell on the notorious Col de Turini between the first and second loop on Saturdaythat the second run had to be neutralised, with some World Rally Cars stuck in the snow.

The comeback kid: Jari-Matti Latvala and the double fightback

Sébastien Ogier’s team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila twice thrilled fans at the Rally Monte Carlo with a remarkable comeback. On the Friday of the rally, “JML” fought his way back from 18th to seventh place overall. He then climbed another position on Saturday, before a puncture saw him drop back down the field. However, he had battled back from eighth to fifth by the end of the day. Latvala/Anttila were in the top-three on eight of the special stages at the “Monte”, clocking the fastest time on three occasions. 

Points reward for “Monte” trainee Mikkelsen

Lessons learned, points scored – Andreas Mikkelsen’s first outing in a World Rally Car at the Rally Monte Carlo was rewarded with six World Championship points. Together with co-driver Mikko Markkula, Mikkelsen showed the necessary caution on all 14 special stages. However, even that was not enough on the tenth stage: on slicks at the time, Mikkelsen/Markkula slid slowly off the snow-covered road in a slow corner between Sisteron and Thoard. Despite losing a lot of time they were able to continue, with the help of the fans, and capitalised with a series of top times on the final day. 

Bonus points for Latvala/Anttila and Ogier/Ingrassia on the Power Stage 

Three extra points for Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, and two bonus points for Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia – Volkswagen claimed a one-two on the Power Stage. Five of the six bonus points up for grabs on the Power Stage – the final stage of a rally, on which points are awarded to the top three cars – went the way of the manufacturer from Wolfsburg. 

Dream start: Ogier/Ingrassia and Volkswagen lead the World Championship

Victory at the first rally of the year and two bonus points on the Power Stage mean the reigning World Champions lead the WRC after the opening act of 2014. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia leave their home rally with 27 points to their name, while Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila are fourth with 13 points, courtesy of their Power Stage victory. Volkswagen also holds an early lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship: 37 points went to Wolfsburg, 33 to Citroën.

FIA Rally World Championship (WRC),
Rally Monte Carlo – Final Results 

1. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen 3h 55m 14.4s

2. Bryan Bouffier/Xavier Panseri (F/F), Ford + 1m 18.9s 

3. Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (GB/IRL), Citroën + 1m 54.3s 

4. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (N/S), Citroën + 3m 53.9s 

5. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen + 6m 08.3s 

6. Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (GB/GB), Ford + 8m 37.4s 

7. Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN), Volkswagen + 11m 42.3s 

8. Jaroslav Melichárek/Erik Melichárek (SK/SK), Ford + 21m 56.2s 

9. Matteo Gamba/Nicola Arena (I/I), Peugeot + 23m 50.7s 

10. Yuriy Protasov/Pavlo Cherepin (UA/UA), Ford + 25m 43.1s 

FIA Rally World Championship (WRC), 
Rally Monte Carlo – Power Stage Results 

1. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen 10m 41.5s 

2. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen + 0.2s 

3. Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (GB/IRL), Citroën + 4.9s 

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Overall Standings
Drivers' Championship points 

1. Sébastien Ogier 27 

2. Bryan Bouffier 18 

3. Kris Meeke 16 

4. Jari-Matti Latvala 13 

5. Mads Østberg 12 

6. Elfyn Evans 8 

7. Andreas Mikkelsen 6 

8. Jaroslav Melichárek 4 

9. Matteo Gamba 2 

10. Yuriy Protasov 1 

Manufacturers' Championship points 

1. Volkswagen Motorsport 37 

2. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT 33 

3. M-Sport Ltd. 10 

4. Volkswagen Motorsport II 

source: VW WRC official press release

UMW Toyota Launched The All New Altis, Price Starts From RM114,000!!

UMW Toyota Motors today has officially launched the 2014 Toyota Corolla Altis which comes with three variants mainly the baseline model of 1.8E, 2.0G and the range topper 2.0V. The Thai sourced 11 generation Altis looks much more sharper and sportier compared from its predecessor and the most obvious look will be the front end design which is has carried the new design language of the current Toyota cars.

The new Altis is longer by 80mm, wider by 16mm and wheelbase has been increased by 100mm as compared to its predecessor thus, this new Altis has more than 30mm longer wheelbase as compared to its closest rival which is the Honda Civic. In terms of boot space, the new Altis features 470liters of boot space with using VDA calculation.  Based on the presentation done by the Chief Engineer of the new Altis, Mr Shinichi Yasui, besides the increase of wheelbase, the rear seat knee clearance has also been upped by 92mm thus giving a class leading space to the rear passenger.

As for the seats, the 2.0G and the 1.8E variants is equipped with a six way manual adjustment front seat while the range topper the 2.0V comes with driver eight way powered seat. The design of the seat has been improved in this model with a more enhance support and grip to the body thus makes the seat a very comfortable place to rest your body and based on my experience sitting in this car, it is very comfortable and would be great for a long journey drive. As for the rear seat, it comes with 60:40 split foldable thus make it easier to carry long items with this car.

Standard kit across the range of this new Altis includes front and rear fog lamps, a three spoke leather wrapped steering wheel which to me feels rather cheap and not so nice to touch also comes with audio controls, a leather wrapped gearshift, a front and rear parking sensors, automatic air conditioning and also acoustic glass for a quieter ride inside the cabin. 

In terms of powertrain choices, the engine and transmission was a carried over as per previous generation except the 1.8E now sports the same CVT transmission with seven speed sequential shift with the range topper the 2.0V comes with paddle shift as standard features. As for the engine, the 1.8 litre engine comes with 139PS at 6,400 rpm and 173Nm of torque at 4,000rpm while the 2.0 litre variants propels the car with its 145PS of power at 6,200 rpm and 187Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm.

As for the new Altis, the interior theme of the car features an all black interior with chrome and matter silver accent with the chief engineer stated it embodies a bold, modern, clean and functional design and the differentiator will be at the center console where the 2.0V is finished with a “Cyber-Carbon” effect while the 1.8E and 2.0G features a Piano Black design. In terms of upholstery, only the range topper comes with leather seats with fine white stitching, while the 2.0G and 1.8E comes with only fabric seat in two shades of black and dark grey pattern.

The other exclusive features which is only standard on the ranger topper includes LED projector type headlamps with DRL and automatic levelling, a 17 inch shod with 215/45 rubbers, push start button, auto electro chromic rear view mirror, cruise control and VSC and also optional “Additional Safety Package” which adds the airbag count to seven for an additional cost of RM 3,900.

As for the 1.8E and 2.0G it only comes with halogen headlamps with manual levelling, a 16inch alloy wheel shod with 205/55 tyres and also a regular keyed ignition starting system.

In terms of audio equipement,all variants comes with six speakers system with two DIN radio where the 1.8E only comes with normal CD player while the 2.0G and V variants comes with DVD-AVX seven inch touch based display with smartphone link with reverse camera. All variants also can opt for an optional seven inch touchscreen DVD player with built in navigation that can pre equipped with Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei maps.

Five colours are available for the new Altis which is the White Pearl CV, Silver Metallic, Attitude Black and two new colours Grey Metallic and Dark Brown Mica Metallic. 

The 2014 Toyota Corolla Altis is priced at RM114,000 for the 1.8E , RM123,000 for the 2.0G and RM136,000 for the range topper 2.0V, all on-the-road with insurance and comes a three-year or 100,000 km warranty.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Auto Insider Malaysia Nominated For "World Blogger And Social Media Awards". Big Thanks To All Readers of Auto Insider Malaysia.

Yes all guys and girls readers of Auto Insider Malaysia, thanks so much for your support all this years for this blog. Your kind support has been tremendous and it has been paid off. Auto Insider Malaysia has been nominated at the "World Bloggers and Social Media Awards 2014" under the category of "Best Auto Blog" which will be held on 26 February 2014 at the Zebra Square Kuala Lumpur. 

This third installment of the coveted awards comprises of numerous categories and all readers can vote for their favorite blog at this url:

The voting has not started yet, but once the voting is open, i do hope the readers of Auto Insider Malaysia will lend your support to vote for my blog and be in the running to win this coveted awards. Besides the awards event, there are a lot of other events through out the week of end February which comprises of Social Media Summit for all bloggers which will be held on 24 February 2014 and also a workshop whereby there will be presentations and small group training which is aim  to get a more effective learning. This workshop will be held on 27 February 2014 at the Royale Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

For more information of the Malaysia Social Media Week, please head down to this url:

The All New Kia Optima K5 Launched. OTR RM149,888. Official Press Release

Naza Kia Malaysia, the official distributor of Kia Motors vehicles in Malaysia, launched the highly-anticipated New Kia Optima K5 and World Cup Rocks with Kia campaign today.

Set to be a game-changer in the D-Segment of the market, the New Kia Optima K5 is positioned for consumers under 40 who prioritise family comfort and styling as a form of self-expression in an affordably priced vehicle.

“The New Kia Optima K5 has been one of the most anticipated model launches in Malaysia and will play a pivotal part in growing Naza Kia Malaysia’s sales volume this year.

“Premium amenities and convenience options make the New Kia Optima K5 an impressive player in the competitive D-segment market,” said Encik Roshdy Hassan, General Manager of Operations of Naza Kia Malaysia.

“With the previous Optima K5 having accumulated awards such as ‘Best of the Best’ at the 2011 Red Dot Design Awards and the People’s Choice Car of the Year at the New Straits Times (NST) – Maybank Car of the Year 2012, we are confident that the New Kia Optima K5 will eclipse its predecessor with its own acclaim and recognition.”

First unveiled at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, the New Kia Optima K5 improves on an already iconic design by refining the Optima's sculpted, high-end appearance. The front and rear has a new bumper and headlight design offset by Kia’s signature tabbed grille embellished with gloss black hexagonal tabs. The vehicle's bold stance and aerodynamic shape are further accentuated by updated rear diffusers and a sweeping sharp edge trunk lid design. Lighting up the European-inspired design are striking front LED positioning and fog lamps, along with clear, newly designed LED combination rear lamps.

Inside the cabin, drivers are greeted with more upscale and high-tech amenities. The redesigned seat structure offers better seat and knee support complete with premium leather seat upholstery. Activating the Optima's push button ignition brings to life a 4.3-inch TFT LCD screen instrument cluster with rear view camera and an 8-speaker Infinity sound system as well as Bluetooth hands-free function, CD player, AUX, USB and iPod connectivity.

The New Kia Optima K5 comes well equipped with a generous roster of first in its class features. Both front seats are air ventilated where a ventilation fan blows air through the seat surface for a cooler and more comfortable ride. As the first Kia vehicle equipped with the Drive Mode Select feature on the racing-inspired D-shaped steering wheel, the system primarily alters the transmission shift timing, throttle mapping and steering wheel weight for its three modes: Normal, Eco and Sport.

Other premium features include an Electronic Parking Brake, customisable 8-way power driver seat with memory seat and 4-way power passenger seat, auto-wiper with rain sensor, hydrophobic glass and panoramic sunroof.

Underneath its hood, the New Kia Optima K5 is powered by Kia’s 2.0 CVVL NU engine which produces 165 PS and 20 kg/m of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The front suspension is fitted with Macpherson Struts with Coil Spring to improve ride quality while the rear suspension is fitted with a Multi-Link suspension with Gas Shock Absorber which incorporates both good ride and good handling in the same vehicle.

To ensure a quiet driving experience, the New Kia Optima K5’s road noise is now lowered by 3.3dB thanks to the enhanced structure of the 18-inch alloy wheels and other areas.

Safety-wise, the New Kia Optima K5 comes with six airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Electronic Brake-Force System (EBD), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist System (BAS), four front and four rear parking sensors Assist System, speed and impact sensing auto door lock, Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and ISOFIX lock-in child seats anchoring and four auto powered and up/down windows with safety auto pinching.

The New Kia Optima K5 has achieved a five-star safety score for NHTSA safety tests in the United States.

“For 2014, we are targeting to increase our sales volume to 15,670 units and the New Kia Optima K5 will play a significant part in achieving this target,” said Encik Roshdy.

The New Kia Optima comes in four new colours which are Snow White Pearl, Satin Metal, Aurora Black and Smokey Blue. The on-the-road price is RM149,888 and comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty.

Kia Motors is the official partner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. In conjunction with the partnership, Naza Kia Malaysia will be running activities for the public to participate in such as Fuleco Friend Search, Champ to Rio Futsal Tournament, 2014 World Cup Road Show and Cheer with Kia (Kia World Cup viewing party).

Running from February to June at the same time duration as the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, ten lucky winners who participate in the World Cup Rocks with Kia activities will be rewarded with tickets to catch the 2014 FIFA World Cup live in Brazil. Winners will receive the total package, including flight tickets, accommodation, World Cup game match viewing and Brazil city tour. As for the Champ to Rio Futsal Tournament, the champion team will represent Malaysia in the Final World Futsal stage in Brazil. Further individual activities will be announced separately.

source: Naza Kia official press release

A Big Hit For The All New Vios. Official Press Release

The All-New Toyota Vios that was introduced to the Malaysian shores in October 2013 has proven to be a success with more than 20,000 bookings made. In a statement, UMW Toyota Motor said that the response remains positive, with customers choosing the Vios due to its eye-catching sporty design and ownership value it provides. Many customers cited its superior performance, style, comfort and fuel efficiency over its rivals as the main factor behind their decision to purchase the All-New Vios.

“We expect the excellent response to continue throughout the year as the  Vios has always been the preferred choice for Malaysians,” said Datuk Ismet Suki, President of UMW Toyota Motor. “Since its first introduction more than ten years ago, it has become the best-selling car in the non-national small PC segment.  As of December 2013, sales of the Vios have reached close to 280,000 units,” he added.

In conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, UMW Toyota Motor is introducing attractive promotions for various models such as the Camry, Hilux, Innova and others. Customers are encouraged to place their orders in the month of January as the promotions are only available while stocks last. To usher in the New Year, all Toyota outlets will also be holding showroom events from 18-19 January. Everyone is invited to their nearest outlet to test drive and enjoy the ongoing promotions.

Hurry! Gallop into the New Year with a new Toyota and don’t miss this opportunity to visit the showroom to enjoy the festivities. For more enquiries, please call 1-800-8-TOYOTA (1-800-8-869682). More information can be obtained at all Toyota showrooms nationwide or at Terms and conditions apply.

source: UMW Toyota official press release

Suzuki Mega Roadshow Extends its Nationwide Roadshow. Official Press Release

Suzuki Malaysia Automobile (SMA) brought 2013 to a sensational conclusion in December with its inaugural nationwide Suzuki Mega Roadshow. Now, to kick-start the New Year, Suzuki has extended the promotion until 2 March 2014! The roadshow continues with its first stop of the year at Mydin in Kuala Terengganu.
“The 2013 roadshow was a great success and customers really appreciated the opportunity to end the year on a high note – with their new Suzuki! Hence, we’ve decided to extend the promotion with fantastic deals, exciting prizes and enjoyable test drive experiences right through Chinese New Year, until the first weekend of March,” said En. Shahrul Mizan, Head of Sales and Marketing Division for Suzuki Malaysia Automobile Sdn Bhd.
Among the models on promotion is the multiple award-winning Swift, which received the Autocar Asean Car of The Year 2013 award, under the Supermini/ Small Sedan category, while the Swift Sport was the clear winner in the Small Sports/ Performance car category.  The Swift is also touted as the “Best Local Assembled Compact Car” by Asian Auto Allianz Industry Awards 2013.
“These awards speak volumes of the popularity of the Swift and the local market’s appreciation of exceptional quality. Through the extension of our roadshow, we’re bringing the best of Suzuki at amazing prices to Malaysians across the country,” added Shahrul.
The Swift is the perfect representation of its name – a stylish and nifty car that swiftly cruises through the streets – perfect for the hustle and bustle of city living.
The promotion offers customers cash rebate amounts of up to RM15,000 (subject to terms and conditions). Buyers of the Swift GL and the Swift GLX, will also get to enjoy the low financing rate of 1.88% per annum from either MayBank or RHB Islamic Bank.
Fans of Suzuki will be able to test drive their dream model at the following locations for the duration of the roadshow:                              
17 - 19 Jan (Friday-Sunday)
      i.        Mydin Mall, Kuala Terengganu

24 - 26 Jan (Friday-Sunday)
      i.        Delta Mall, Sibu

5 - 7 Feb (Wednesday-Friday)
      i.        KB Mall, Kota Bahru

7 - 9 Feb (Friday-Sunday)
      i.        East Coast Mall, Kuantan
    ii.        AEON Kinta City, Ipoh

13- 15 Feb (Thursday-Saturday)
      i.        Star Parade, Alor Setar

21 - 23 Feb (Friday-Sunday)
      i.        Ujana Kewangan Mall, Labuan

28 Feb - 2 Mar (Friday-Sunday)
      i.        DRB-HICOM Auto Fest 2014 @ EON Head Office Complex, Shah Alam,  Selangor

Adding even more reason to visit the Suzuki Mega Roadshow is the promise that the first 500 Suzuki SWIFT customers who register successfully at any of the Suzuki Mega Roadshow venues will stand a chance to participate in the lucky draw. Exciting prizes range from the Grand Prize of an all expenses paid trip two to Japan, a 60” LED TV & Home Theater system, Savings Accounts with ASN/ASB worth RM10,000 and Parkson shopping vouchers valued at RM5,000 (terms and conditions apply).

source: Suzuki Malaysia Automobile press release

Big Wins For Seventh Generation Volkswagen Golf At "Autoworld Car of The Year Awards 2013". Official Press Release

The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf have been awarded a grand total of five awards at Autoworld ‘Car of the Year (COTY) Awards 2013’ presentation dinner held at the Tropicana Golf & Country Resort last week.

Organized by, the fourth edition of the Autoworld COTY Awards provides consumers with independent and unbiased judgment that acclaims the most outstanding new cars in 19 categories across the market.

Deriving the final outcome from an compilation of scores derived by the panel of judges and an online voting system via a database of over 130,000 registered Autoworld members, the Golf GTI obtained the highest overall score, finishing above 31 other nominated vehicles as the overall ‘Car of the Year’ at the Autoworld COTY Awards 2013.

In addition to the top prize, the Golf GTI also won the ‘Members’ Choice Award’ and the ‘Judges’ Choice Award’, making history by being the first time in the award’s history that any one vehicle has been unanimously voted as the very best by both the judges as well as members. The Golf GTI came out tops in its own category as well, winning the ‘Premium Coupe/Performance Car Award’ making it the clear winner of the 2013 edition of the Autoworld COTY Awards.

The seventh-generation Golf GTI was first introduced to the Malaysian automotive scene in August 2013 as the fastest, most powerful, and most fuel-efficient Golf GTI ever. The latest iteration of this legendary hot hatch showcases its German engineered, 100% Volkswagen DNA by pumping out 220PS to the front wheels from its 2.0l TSI engine whilst boasting a number of unique features in its class including, the progressive steering and the even more advanced XDS+ vehicle dynamics function.

In addition to the Golf GTI’s stunning performance in the Autoworld COTY Award’s 2013, the Golf also picked up the ‘Compact Passenger Car Award’, rounding off a resounding victory for the Golf range in Malaysia.  

These five awards cap off an already long and accomplished list of accolades that the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf has already won since its introduction in late 2012, including the ‘Best Cars of 2013’, the ‘2013 European Car of the Year’ Award, ‘2013-14 Japan Car of the Year’ and the ‘World Car of the Year 2013’.

Both the seventh-generation Golf and Golf GTI can be test driven throughout all dealer showrooms nationwide.

source: VW Malaysia press release
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