Browsing Archive January, 2017

Still the ultimate 4×4 cruiser 20 year later

The aim of the 80-series was to be both at the forefront of technology and luxury. Along with passenger car like styling in the front design, wide tires and large fenders gave it a bold effect, looking something like a luxury battleship that could cruise the land. It was a break from the tradition of the Japanese 4×4. Moreover, accommodations remained for off-road applications, such as space in the instrument panel to install wireless communications equipment, and a rail for mounting a roof carrier.

Toyota Prado 4x41

It was large at 5 meters length and 2 meters wide, with 3 types of engines to choose from; the 3F-E-type gasoline engine, the 1HD-T-type direct-injection diesel turbo engine (4,163cc, 165PS, 37.0kgm), and the 1HZ-type diesel engine. For all but one type of model in the series, it came with rigid coil springs in front and rear, and a full-time 4×4 power train. Of course the top of the line van and wagon offered a VX Limited grade.

In 1992 the original 3F-E-type engine was replaced in the new model FZJ80G with a 1FZ-FE-type gasoline engine (DOHC (Double Over Head Camshaft) in-line 6-cylinder, 4, 476cc, 215PS, 38kgm specs). In 1995, the HDJ81V was added to the lineup, and the 1HD-T-type diesel engine took on 4-valves in the 1HD-FT-type engine (4,163cc, 170PS, 38.7kgm specs). In addition a camper style model called Active Vacation was added to the lineup, which was registered in a low tax and low maintenance bracket.

Toyota Prado 4x4In 1996 all models took on ABS and air bags as standard equipment. Only the van series came with the standard GX grade only, and all grades had a widened body. The 80-series continued to get larger and more luxurious until it was eventually replaced in 1998 with the debut of the 100-series Land Cruiser. The transition to the next generation was made when the 80-series still enjoyed a high level of popularity, much the same as had happened earlier when the 60-series made way for the 80-series Land Cruiser.

Toyota Prado 4x4_2

However, luxury has not softened the Land Cruiser. It has not sacrificed its ability to take on the toughest roads the world has to offer.

No matter that it is more comfortable and luxurious to ride in, the Land Cruiser remains the Land Cruiser, which is the reason for its lasting popularity.



Chevrolet Colorado Xtreme shows what you can do to your pickup

This ASEAN version of the Chevrolet Colorado Xtreme revives a trim used on the first-generation U.S. market model to designate a sporty street truck styling package. f the Xtreme, on the other hand, goes completely in the opposite direction with an airbox snorkel, front off-road bumper with integrated skidplate, roof rack, 18-inch beadlock-look alloy wheels, rear “safari” bar, and contrasting tailgate “Chevrolet” block lettering. For the hard-core off-roaders, an inclinometer is included among the updates. chevy-colorado-extreme-off-road3

Dramatic hood scoops, side plates and a front end geared towards ground clearance help make one tough looking pickup truck. Large fender flares lend themselves to off-roading, too. And, we can’t go without noting the very cool Furness matte orange exterior color, which is also awash inside.

Additionally, a custom bedliner receives adjustable tie-down tracks, which are extended to the lift gate and an integrated spare wheel mount can also hold tools.


Stripping away the boatload of accessories, the face of the Colorado Xtreme is a refreshing one, looking decidedly more modern, and much less “developing country.” Inside is the same story, too, with more premium materials, including custom orange contrasting, an integrated pitch and roll meter and leather-cloth combination seating.


“Inspiration came from many sources. In particular, we looked at the U.S. market, where Chevrolet is the leader in truck design. Looking at the Xtreme, it is clear that the North American market influenced many of the styling cues. The end result is a serious pickup with no compromises,” said GM International Vice President of Design Michael Simcoe.


“It is great to have the opportunity to showcase design possibilities today that could be developed and seen in the cars and trucks of tomorrow,” he added.



Real World Testing On B10 Diesel Starts

This week the Malaysia Recreational Off-Roaders Society took the challenge to have their trucks filled with the all new B10 biodiesel – which should be rolling out across the nation this year. The 4×4 truckers will be roughing it out in the jungle, while the new diesel blend is set to prove its reliability.


‘B10’ refers to the 10% content of palm-based biodiesel. As it stands, all diesel pumps in the country are supplied with B7 biodiesel, which has 7% of the same palm-based biodiesel mixed in. Yes, this includes both Euro 2M and Euro 5 diesel. The Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, YB Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, had announced on 15 November 2016 the deferment on the implementation of B10 and B7 Programmes to 2017. The decision to defer the mandate was in the interest of not to burden consumers with any increase in the price of diesel taking into consideration the current high price of crude palm oil.


The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) appreciate and are fully aware of concerns raised by various quarters in the automotive industry, namely the Malaysian Automotive Association, Association of Malaysian Hauliers, Pan Malaysian Lorry Owners Association and other transport operators.

DSC07776MPOB would like to reassure consumers that the introduction of B10 is validated by comprehensive bench and long-term field testing domestically; adherence to international biodiesel standards; and backed by experiences, evaluations and millions of problem-free genuine on-the-road kilometres recorded by various makes and model of vehicles (cars and trucks) that are currently in operation nationwide with the B10 or higher biodiesel mandates. In short, B10 has been proven to be superlatively beneficial and not detrimental in the long run as it has been wrongly perceived.


The MPOB has been championing the adoption of palm-based biodiesel for decades now, and they’ve been used by Malaysians in their B5 form for years now.

Various studies around the world has shown that palm-based biodiesel is one of the most stable forms of biodiesel available. In fact, it has no sulphur content, making it a lot cleaner than petroleum-derived diesel. A technical briefing was shown to go through all the advantages of switching to B10 diesel. We will be putting together an article based on the information we were shown.

The expedition was launched by Dato’ Seri Mah Siew Keong. The convoy is also carrying with them essential supplies for the folks in the eastern states that are affected by the floods.



Volvo Malaysia Continues Giving Back to the Society

Volvo Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the distributor for Volvo Trucks, Renault Trucks, Volvo Buses and Volvo Construction Equipment once again opened its doors to underprivileged children at their headquarters in Shah Alam. This annual charity event is part of Volvo Malaysia’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative in giving back to the society and this year, Volvo Malaysia Sdn Bhd made a contribution of RM10,000 to two underprivileged houses.

Jagaan Cahaya Kasih Bestari and Pusat Jagaan Kanak-Kanak Seribu Harapan were presented with a cheque worth RM5,000 each to assist them with their basic daily needs. Volvo Malaysia practices tremendous care in selecting only grassroots-built and genuine non-profit organisations that largely rely on contribution from society that would benefit from their annual charity event.

Mats Nilsson, Managing Director of Volvo Malaysia Sdn Bhd, “It is the time of the year and it is a season of giving. We are very happy to have children from both houses and our families here in our headquarters; creating such lively and fun atmosphere. This is the second year of our annual charity event and we hope to continue giving back to the society more often moving on.”

Laughters broke through the air early morning at the renowned Swedish brand’s compound as more than 150 guests enjoyed themselves to the fun activities specially arranged by Volvo Malaysia. Underprivileged children from Jagaan Cahaya Kasih Bestari and Pusat Jagaan Kanak-Kanak Seribu Harapan together with Volvo’s staff and their families were entertained with various mini games and lucky draws.


Aside from these activities, children and families were also treated to an interactive safety session of Volvo Truck’s global safety campaign ‘Stop, Look, Wave’. This campaign aims to raise children’s awareness on the importance of identifying blind spots and to practice safe behaviours in traffic especially when in the presence of large trucks. Volvo Trucks also recently announced their partnership with KidZania Kuala Lumpur on this initiative via the KidZania Go! – a KidZania mobile school outreach programme.

In November 2015, Volvo Malaysia held its 9th Volvo Golf World Challenge and partnered National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) for its annual charity drive which saw RM 24,000 raised from sales of Volvo Trucks and Titleist merchandise as well as the purchase of special drawings painted by the talented kids from NASOM.

For more information, contact Volvo Trucks Malaysia Customer Care Centre at 012- 3731030/ 019-2401030 or visit the official Volvo Trucks Malaysia Facebook page at


Tata Motors and Castrol announce Global Strategic Partnership


Tata Motors and Castrol today announced the signing of a three-year strategic partnership agreement for supply of Commercial Vehicle Oils to Tata Motors globally.

The agreement will cover over 50 markets including SAARC and ASEAN region, Middle East, Africa, Russia and Latin America. As Tata Motors expand their international footprint, Castrol with its established presence in these markets, will support Tata Motors’ channel partners with high quality products and services to enhance their market share and profitability.

Tata Motors is a key strategic global account for Castrol and this new agreement is a step forward in the partnership which goes back three decades, starting in India where Tata Motors is the largest commercial vehicle manufacturer. As a preferred partner of Tata Motors, Castrol will work closely with the Tata team to co-engineer products suited to meet specific requirements of new engine technology and environment regulations.

Commenting on the agreement, Guenter Butschek – CEO and Managing Director, Tata Motors Limited, said: “Tata Motors has had a long and enduring partnership with Castrol in India, delivering exceptional products and outstanding service for our customers. We are delighted to extend this partnership to a global level and look forward to leveraging our complementary strengths to offer our channel partners high quality support.”

Mandhir Singh, CEO, BP Lubricants, said: “Tata Motors is a valued key global strategic account for Castrol and we are excited about extending our relationship to global markets. As Tata Motors explores new markets, we are committed to supporting them with our pioneering technology products, superior service offers and expertise in retail marketing and promotion, to add value to this partnership.”


Ford Raises the Bar Again: New F-150 Pickup Is Even Tougher, Smarter, More Capable

Ford, America’s truck leader, introduces the new 2018 Ford F-150 – now even tougher, even smarter and even more capable than ever. Three years after first introducing the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy-bodied Ford F-150, the new F-150 arrives with bold new front and rear styling, advanced technologies – including available Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection – and improved engines. The new engines include an all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke® V6 turbo diesel and enhanced V6 and V8 gas engines. The 2018 F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series truck lineup, America’s best-selling truck for 40 consecutive years and America’s best-selling vehicle for 35 years.


Even tougher

The new F-150 delivers on its Built Ford Tough promise through a segment-exclusive combination of advanced materials that are durable and inhibit corrosion.

A high-strength steel fully boxed ladder frame and high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body save weight and add capability, helping F-150 tow heavier trailers than ever and deliver best-in-class payload ratings.

The 2018 F-150 lineup is new with even tougher looks. From XL to top-of-the-line Limited, all Ford F-150 models receive new grilles, headlamps and bumpers that create a visually wider and more planted stance and maximum differentiation between the series. On the Sport Package-equipped Lariat F-150, the signature twin bars are painted body color for a custom athletic appearance.

ford-f-150_2Further enhancing its “milled from a block of high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy” look, the F-150 features six all-new wheel designs, ranging from 17 inches to 22 inches in diameter.

A new sculpted tailgate with deeper accent form and stamped “F-150” are flanked by new tail lamp designs. For further style differentiation, a tailgate applique adds a horizontal element to King Ranch, Platinum and Limited versions.

F-150 also brings two new seating trim colors – Dark Marsala for F-150 Platinum, while top-of-the-line F-150 Limited offers a Navy Pier environment. New trim offerings including carbon fiber appearance appliques on F-150 XLT Sport and Lariat Sport models, while the famed F-150 King Ranch features new Kingsville Appointed seats.

ford-f-150_1Even smarter

Ford F-150 advances the light-duty pickup truck segment again with segment-first and class-exclusive technologies that improve productivity, efficiency and driver confidence, while keeping occupants connected to the world around them.

New enhanced segment-first available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality allows drivers to set a cruising speed. They then use radar and camera technology to monitor traffic ahead to maintain a set distance between vehicles – even following a vehicle down to a complete stop.


New, segment-first available Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection helps the driver avoid or mitigate collisions with vehicles and pedestrians.

With a new available embedded 4G LTE modem for a Wi-Fi hot spot, customers can connect up to 10 mobile devices at one time, virtually anywhere.

New B&O PLAY available audio system takes advantage of high-end speakers, sound and tuning to deliver a richer, more engaging listening experience.

These technologies join existing segment-exclusive driver assist and convenience features that include:

  • Available SYNC® and SYNC 3 with FordPass enables compatibility of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – plus mobility services to help customers move more efficiently
  • Available 360-degree camera technology helps improve driver confidence when parking and can help reduce stress when connecting a trailer – allowing customers to see more so they can focus on specific tasks such as lining up a hitch
  • Available lane-keeping system is designed to help reduce unintentional drifting of the vehicle outside the intended lane
  • Available Blind Spot Information System with trailer tow technology is optimized for F-150 to include the length of a trailer up to 33 feet; BLIS® uses radar sensors in the taillamps to monitor areas that may not be visible to the driver

Even more capable

Ford builds on its performance leadership by offering the most advanced F-150 engine lineup ever, plus the best towing capability of any F-150 ever.

The new F-150 introduces an all-new, standard 3.3-liter V6 engine, with direct-injection for increased efficiency. The 3.3-liter V6 is expected to offer the same 282 horsepower and 253 lb.-ft. of torque as the previous model’s standard 3.5-liter V6.

An all-new second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine features advanced dual port and direct injection technology, reduced internal friction and improved robustness – all for improved levels of output, efficiency, quality and durability. Like the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost will be paired to the segment-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission for 2018.

The 5.0-liter V8 also sees improvements in 2018, as the naturally aspirated engine features significant upgrades for increased power and torque. It’s also paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission for the first time.

The 2018 F-150 also adds an available all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine, designed, engineered and tested in-house and paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s the first-ever diesel engine offered for F-150.

In addition to the segment-first 10-speed automatic, the Ford F-150 is now the first full-size pickup truck to add automatic start/stop as standard equipment across all models and engines.

The new 2018 F-150 goes on sale this fall. It will be built at Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.


JEEP sale is on & discounts as high as RM150k

The BIG Jeep sale is on at their showroom and you can now own a Jeep for a better price before the new stock arrives from America at the new exchange rate that will push prices up.

Jeep Wrangler Sahara
The Wrangler Unlimited Sport priced at RM288,889 now has a good discount of RM70,000*

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

The Wrangler Unlimited Sahara priced at RM328,889 now has a discount of RM90,000*


The Wrangler Rubicon priced at RM338,889 now has a RM90,000* discount.

Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

The Cherokee Longitude priced at RM348,889 now has a RM110,000* discount.

2015 Jeep® Cherokee Limited

The Cherokee Trailhawk priced at RM378,889 now has a RM100,000* discount.


The Grand Cherokee Limited priced at RM448,889 now comes with a saving of up to RM150,000*

The Grand Cherokee Overland priced at RM468,889 now comes with a saving of up to RM110,000*

*T&C Apply. Limited Stocks available and while stocks last

Jeep Cherokee Overland


Will Scania put a bonnet on the R-Cab?

This is an interesting illustration of the new Scania R- cab with a bonnet. That makes the new Scania T- model, but off course this is not official.

The market for these trucks is simply not big enough and even in Latin America they move to cab-over-engine models. The only big market for bonnetted trucks is in the USA but there they need completely different trucks.


Dongfeng EQ2050, the Chinese version of the Hummer

The Dongfeng EQ2050 is based on civilian AM General Hummer H1. It has a redesigned exterior in order to look different from the HMMWV. It is known as Mengshi in China. It is in service with Chinese army. Production number of these vehicles are increasing. It is widely used by Chinese military. It is also used by paramilitary forces. A civil version of this high mobility vehicle is also available. Dongfeng EQ2050a

Numerous version of this tactical vehicle exist. Some of them have a fully-enclosed body. Other are open-topped versions, with collapsible split windscreen and canvas cover. Some models have a raised roofline. There is a 2-door cargo version. The Dongfeng EQ2058 is an armored version. Number of troops carried varies from version to version. This high mobility vehicle is used for personnel and light cargo transport. It can also tow trailers or light artillery pieces.

The EQ2050 can be armed with all kind of weapons. Some vehicles have a weapon mount on the roof. It can be fitted with 12.7-mm machine gun or other weapons, such as anti-tank or air defense missiles.

The EQ2050 is powered by a license-produced Cummins EQB150-20 turbocharged diesel, developing 150 hp. It is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. Some vehicles are equipped with self-recovery winches. The Dongfeng EQ2050 has good cross-country mobility due to all-wheel drive, high ground clearance and high power-to-weight ratio.


Toughest race on Earth, Dakar Rally

When the road ahead takes you nearly 10,000km through some of the harshest terrain on the planet you’d better come prepared.

Dakar trucks1

1. The Dakar Rally is almost as long as an entire World Rally Championship season

The Dakar Rally is classified as a Rally Raid event, which means it’s a long-distance event that takes place over several days. And at 9,300km the Dakar is the daddy of all the rally raid events in the world (although, as they’re so punishing, there aren’t that many of them).

Dakar trucks2

2. Engines lose power – up to 20% for a large chunk of the route this year because of low air density. The Dakar Rally traverses Argentina and Bolivia in 2016 and that means the hundreds of competitors will have to climb the Andes Mountains. At its highest point, the route isn’t too far from being as high as a typical Everest base camp. The air gets thin at around 4,600m and that means it’s less dense and has less oxygen. Less oxygen means the internal combustion engine doesn’t combust as much, and so power can drop by around 20%.

The competitors also struggle for oxygen at high altitude.

Dakar trucks3

3. The support trucks are both competitors and service vehicles

The top teams have support lorries that carry vital equipment that can be used should the top runners suffer an accident or mechanical problem. These support trucks are massive, and can cover the terrain just as well as the cars, although they are significantly slower. But they race against the other support vehicles in their own truck class.

Dakar trucks

4. The rally only started because one man got randomly lost

Thierry Sabine, a French motorbike racer, was competing on the 1977 Abidjan-Nice Rally when he lost his way. Realising that navigating the remote sand dunes of a desert posed quite a challenge, he organised the inaugural event that left Paris in December 1978. It gets its name from the capital of Senegal: the original destination.

5. The Dakar will always be associated with the colour pink

The finish in Dakar used to be at the Lac Rose, 30km north of Dakar, which is so called because the lake is bright pink. This is caused by a unique type of algae, dunaliella salina. The lake is so striking that it can be seen from space, and the mere sight of it – after two weeks of unrelenting mental and physical punishment – has in the past caused even fully-grown bikers to spontaneously burst into tears.

6. The drivers don’t have time to stop

Some of the drivers struggle with the notion of staying in the car for an entire day. Some stages require 12 hours of driving and, well, sometimes nature knocks on the door. Therefore some of the drivers have sacks in their race suits so that they can pass urine as they pass rivers and boulders at 60mph. It’s just one of many sacrifices made in the name of completing – and trying to win – the Dakar Rally.