Perodua and me

Recently, Perodua had launched their latest fray into Malaysian automotive industry. Bezza, the first sedan rolled off their new and efficient Perodua Global Manufacturing plant in Serendah, Selangor. I am a former employee of Perodua, particularly, I was a Design Engineer involved in the development of Perodua current models. On 6th January 2009, I joined […]

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5 Perkara untuk mengembalikan prestasi optimum kenderaan anda

Anda mempunyai kereta lama dan ingin memanjangkan jangka hayatnya? Tetapi prestasi kenderaan anda semakin berkurangan?

Anda dijemput menyaksikan segmen video dari rancangan permotoran UK, Fifth Gear ini:

Sepertimana VW Corrado tahun 1995 ini, kereta anda juga boleh dikembalikan kuasa kudanya selepas dilakukan perkara-perkara berikut:

1. SERVIS SALURAN PEMBEKALAN BAHANAPI (RM 30 – RM150)

Pelbagai jenis penuras bahanapi. Disarankan penukaran setiap 60-80k km.

Saluran pembekalan bahanapi ke enjin yang tersumbat akan memberi kesan terhadap kuasa enjin anda. Sekatan pada pengaliran akan menyekat kelancaran dan menghasilkan kurang kuasa. penyingkiran sedimen pada saluran pembekalan tersebut akan melancarkan pengaliran bahanapi dan enjin akan berfungsi pada prestasi optimum.

Jika perlu, tukarlah penuras bahanapi anda. Sesetengah kenderaan menggunakan dua penuras; Penuras Elemen Kertas dan Penuras Element Arang (Charcoal). Disarankan penukaran setiap 60-80k km.

2. TUKAR MINYAK PELINCIR ENJIN DAN PENURAS MINYAK PELINCIR (RM80 – RM 300)

Contoh botol minyak pelincir dan penuras minyak

Minyak enjin yang lama boleh menyebabkan geseran berlebihan dan penukaran minyak hitam kepada yang baru akan mengatasi masalah ini. Penuras minyak yang lama mengandungi serpihan halus bahan-bahan binaan enjin yang tergeser beserta mendapan karbon seterusnya akan mendatangkan halangan kepada saluran minyak ke seluruh enjin dan ini akan memakan sedikit kuasa enjin sebagai beban parasitik (parasitic load).

Sesetengah penuras pelincir minyak mempunyai by-pass valve (injap pintasan) jika penuras sudah terlalu tersumbat, minyak yang dipam ke penuras tersebut akan terus melalui sistem pelinciran enjin dan akan menyebabkannya tersumbat dan merosakkan enjin anda.

Disarankan penukaran setiap 5k km. Penukaran setiap 10k km adalah bergantung pada jaminan pengeluar dan perhatikan klausa ‘Penggunaan Lasak’ dalam manual kenderaan anda.

3. TUKAR PALAM PENCUCUH @ SPARK PLUG (RM 30 – RM 400)

Palam pencucuh yang telah digunakan

Palam pencucuh yang lama akan menghasilkan pembakaran yang kurang sempurna, malah menjadikan kecekapan bahanapi menjadi kurang. Tukarlah palam pencucuh setiap 20k km untuk palam biasa dan setiap 60k km untuk palam istimewa seperti iridium.

4. GANTI MINYAK PELINCIR KOTAK GEAR DAN PENURAS MINYAK GEAR (RM 90 – RM 600)

Contoh penuras minyak pelincir kotak gear (Model Mini)

Sama seperti minyak pelincir enjin, minyak pelincir kotak gear juga perlu ditukar secara berkala. Selalunya dalam lingkungan 40k km sekali. Ini akan menyingkirkan hasil geseran halus bahan binaannya yang terhasil semasa operasi. Bagi kotak gear Continous Variable Transmission (Transmisi Pelarasan Berterusan), ianya akan memanjangkan hayat pencengkam (clutch) atau torque convertor kotak gear tersebut).

5. BERSIHKAN SALURAN PEMBEKALAN UDARA KE ENJIN (RM 40 – RM 200)

Pelbagai bentuk penuras udara

Enjin perlukan udara untuk pembakaran bahanapi. Sekatan pada laluan ini akan menyebabkan penurunan kadar pengambilan udara untuk silinder enjin anda. bersihkan secara berkala saluran ini kerana sekatan-sekatan berbentuk habuk dan wap minyak pelincir dari sistem Positive Crankcase Ventilation (Pengudaraan Perumah Engkol).

Untuk kenderaan dilengkapi Intercooled Turbo, anda juga perlu membersihkan dalaman Intercooler anda kerana mungkin menakung minyak dari PCV. Penggunaan Oil Catch Tank (Tangki Penyekat Minyak) boleh mengelakkan penakungan tersebut.

Sekian tips pengembalian kuasa kuda untuk enjin lama anda. Kami akan kongsikan beberapa penerangan tentang teknologi-teknologi enjin yang ditaip dalam tulisan Italic dalam artikel ini.

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Ringkasan 5 cara mengembalikan kuasa kenderaan anda
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Kereta Malaysia mahal! Biar betul?

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Kita mungkin tak lupa muka Vin Diesel apabila diberitahu mengenai harga kereta di Malaysia dan Singapura beberapa tahun yang lalu.

Malaysia, kita selalu suka untuk berfikir bahawa kita adalah mangsa kebanyakan perkara-perkara yang tidak baik, dan tidak pernah meletakkan pencerahan pada bagaimana kita sendiri yang menempahnya. Sama seperti jiran kita di seberang Selat Tebrau, kita memang kuat komplen!

Salah satu perkara yang paling ramai mengadu adalah harga kereta. Kita sentiasa mengatakan kita adalah orang yang paling banyak membayar untuk harga kereta di rantau ini, manakala jiran kita di Singapura pula mendakwa mereka adalah orang yang membayar paling banyak untuk sebuah kereta!

Tetapi, bilangan kereta mewah di jalanan di kedua-dua negara-negara ini tetap bertambah dari hari ke hari. Ini tidak masuk akal!

Jadi, persoalannya ialah, adakah kereta kita benar-benar paling mahal di rantau ini? Saya fikir ia adalah sebuah mitos, disampaikan generasi ke generasi tanpa mengkaji akan kebenarannya.

Mari kita lihat pada harga kereta termurah di negara-negara seperti Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, dan Filipina.

Saga FLX SV, dijual bermula MYR33,500.

Pertama, Proton mendakwa mereka berjaya menghasilkan sedan yang paling murah di rantau ASEAN ini melalui ‘kejuruteraan-nilai’ (value-engineering) iaitu Saga FLX SV (bermaksud Super Value, bukan seperti pada Lamborghini, Super Veloce) dijual pada MYR 33,500. Bagaimana pula Thailand, Indonesia dan Filipina? Demi konsistensi, mari kita lihat apa sedan yang paling murah mereka boleh dapati di negara masing-masing. Satu lawatan pantas pada laman-laman web jenama yang paling popular mereka boleh memudahkan kajian kita.

Kita tidak perlu bincangkan tentang Singapura, atas sebab-sebab yang jelas (secara purata, kereta mereka adalah 3 kali ganda harga kereta kita).

Khap Khun Krap!

Di Thailand, tawaran yang paling murah ialah Honda Brio Amaze, dengan harga bermula THB517,000 (MYR 59,500), bentuk hatchback bermula THB495,000 (MYR57,500). Sekarang, ini bukan sedan yang anda mahu di Malaysia, terutamanya dalam bentuk pra-facelift. Dengan enjin 1.2 liter yang menghasilkan hanya beberapa kuasa kuda. Walaubagaimanapun, saya kira Honda Malaysia fikir ia adalah satu cadangan yang tidak baik untuk bawa model ini ke dalam negara kita atas sebab yang akan saya terangkan kemudian.

Bagaimana pula Toyota? Nah, sekarang mereka hanya boleh dapati Vios dalam spesifikasi J sebagai varian yang paling mampu milik pada THB599,000 (MYR68,984), yang hanya datang dengan transmisi manual. Sama seperti Saga FLX SV, tidak banyak perkakas yang boleh didapati daripadanya. Bandingkan nilai ini dengan Proton Prevé 1.6 Manual kita yang dijual pada MYR59, 710, satu segmen saiz yg lebih besar, dan MYR10,000 lebih murah dan dilengkapi pakej keselamatan lengkap dengan 6 beg udara dan ESC. Vios versi hatchback,  Yaris, bermula pada harga THB585,000 (MYR67,371).

Ganteng mobilnya, mas?

Di Indonesia, Toyota menetapkan harga mampu milik Vios pada IDR291,900,000 (MYR82,776) bagi gred E. Manakala hatchback paling murah mereka, abang kepada Perodua Axia SE, Agya bermula pada  IDR114.030.000 (MYR44,000)!

Sementara itu, Honda menawarkan City E Gred Manual bermula dari IDR370,700,000 (MYR93,675). Brio hanya ditawarkan dalam bentuk hatchback dengan sub-brand ‘Satya’, tanpa tingkap berkuasa dan tanpa sunvisor, walaupun begitu, harganya bermula pada IDR129,600,000 (MYR39,500)! Anda boleh dapatkan Perodua Axia dengan tingkap kuasa, sunvisor dan transmisi automatik lebih murah dari ini!

Ah … Erm … tak reti bahasa Pinoy

Di kepulauan Filipina, Honda menawarkan mereka Brio Amaze, bermula pada harga yang lebih rendah iaitu PHP620,000 (MYR55,300) berbanding di Thailand. walaubagaimanapun, sedan ini didatangkan dengan enjin 1.3L, kapasiti enjin lebih besar dan tambahan 10 kuda berbanding saudara mereka di Thailand. Hatchback untuk model ini bermula pada PHP609,000 (MYR53,500). Kini, sekali lagi, ini bukan Honda anda mahu, atau model yang Honda Malaysia mahu jual di Malaysia, jika mereka mahu mengekalkan imej premium mereka yang dilihat oleh kebanyakan rakyat Malaysia.

Bagaimana pula Toyota? Vios mereka bermula pada PHP592000 (MYR52,000). Sebelum anda membuat apa-apa kesimpulan bahawa ia adalah lebih murah daripada yang ditawarkan di Thailand, model ini tidak sama spesifikasi dengan yang mereka dapati di sana. Lihatlah sahaja anjakan enjinnya; 1.3 liter, menghasilkan hanya 85 kuasa kuda (Saga FLX 1.3 hasilkan 94 kuasa kuda), lebih lemah sedikit 1.2 liter Brio Amaze di Thailand yang menghasilkan lebih 5 lagi kuasa kuda berbandingya! Bolehkah anda bayangkan bagaimana prestasinya di lebuh raya Malaysia, dan lebih-lebih lagi semasa mendaki Genting dan Cameron Highland? Mungkin banyak juga yang boleh dipotong oleh lori bila mendaki jalan raya pergunungan Kinabalu, haha!

Jika anda mahukan varian yang lebih berkuasa degan enjin 1.5 liter seperti yang mereka tawarkan di Thailand dan Malaysia, anda perlu membeli sebuah dengan harga bermula PHP845,000 (MYR74,300) dalam Gred G Manual . Tetapi, kita lihat spesifikasi keselamatannya, berbaloikah?

Jadi, lihatlah, rakyat Malaysia. Adakah anda masih beranggapan kereta kita mahal? Kita sudah boleh mendapatkan kenderaan  dengan ciri keselamatan penuh (dengan ESC dan 6 beg udara) hanya dengan MYR59,500!

Ini hanya perbandingan harga semata-mata. Beberapa faktor lain yang tidak dibincangkan lagi; deposit yang lebih tinggi sekurang-kurangnya sehingga 50%, tempoh sewa beli lebih pendek (5 tahun), cukai jalan raya dan lain-lain, kos servis dan harga bahan api yang lebih tinggi.

Di Malaysia, bukankah kita masih bernasib baik?

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Malaysian cars are expensive! Are you sure?

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We could probably remember the face of Vin Diesel when he was told about the car prices in Malaysia and Singapore from some years back.

Malaysian, they like to think they are the victims of mostly everything bad, and never put the light on how they are the one who are the prey. As likely as our neighbor in the other side of Tebrau Strait, Singapore, we do complaint, a lot.

One of the most complained is the car prices. We always says we are the one who really paid a lot in car in the region, while our Singaporean neighbors claims they are the one who paid more!

This contest will never found a conclusion, as the numbers of luxury cars roaming on both of these countries are multiplying like crazy!

So, the question is, do our cars really that expensive? I think it is a myth, a claim passed on generation to generation without checking the truth. 

Let’s take a look at the cheapest cars in countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines fared in prices.

Saga FLX SV, at MYR33,500.

First, Proton claimed to produce the cheapest sedan in the region in the form of value-engineered Saga FLX SV (stands for Super Value as opposed to Lamborghini’s Super Veloce) selling at MYR 33,500. Now, how about Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines? For consistency sake, let’s have a look of what are the cheapest sedan they could get. A quick tour of their most popular brand websites will do.

We will skip Singapore, well, for the obvious reason (on average, their cars are 3 times the price of ours).

Khap Khun Krap!

In Thailand, the cheapest offering is the Honda Brio Amaze, retailing at THB517,000 (MYR 59,500), the hatchback form in starting at THB495,000 (MYR57,500). Now, this is not the sedan that you want in Malaysia, especially not in it’s pre-facelifted form. with it’s puny 1.2 litre engine producing just some horses farts, even Honda Malaysia didn’t think it is a good proposition to bring into our shores.

How about Toyota? Well, now they only got Vios in J specification as the lowest-priced sedan offering at THB599,000 (MYR68,984), which is only in manual form. Much like the Saga FLX SV, nothing much to expect from it. Compare that to our own Proton Prevé 1.6 Manual which retails at MYR59, 710, nearly a size bigger, and MYR10,000 cheaper and comes with complete safety package of 6 airbags and ESC. The Vios hatchback sister, the Yaris, starts at THB585,000 (MYR67,371).

Ganteng mobilnya, mas?

In Indonesia, Toyota set the price of their entry level Vios at IDR291,900,000 (MYR82,776) for a Manual E Grade, while their cheapest hatchback, the sister to our very own Perodua Axia SE, the Agya is starting at IDR114.030.000 (MYR44,000)!

Meanwhile, Honda is offering the City E Grade Manual starting at IDR370,700,000 (MYR93,675). Brio is only offered in hatchback form named Satya, with the lack of powered window and sunvisors, and that even starts at IDR129,600,000 (MYR39,500).

Ah… Erm… I know nothing of Pinoy

In the isle of the Philippines, Honda do offer them the Brio Amaze, starting at a lower PHP620,000 (MYR55,300). However, this sedan is offered 1.3l engine, slightly bigger and 10 more horses than their Thailand brothers get. The hatchback starts at PHP609,000 (MYR53,500). Now, again, this is not the Honda you want, or Honda Malaysia wants to sell here in Malaysia, if they want to keep their premium image perceived by most Malaysian.

How about Toyota? Their Vios starts at PHP592000 (MYR52,000). Before you make any conclusion that it is cheaper than that in Thailand, this is not the same specification that they got there. Look at the engine displacement; 1.3 liter, producing only 85 horsepower, even the puny little 1.2 liter Brio Amaze in Thailand produced 5 more!! Can you imagine how it will perform on Malaysian fast-and-furious highways, more so uphill Genting and Cameron Highland? Some could even be overtaken by lorries up the Kinabalu Mountain roads, haha!

If you eager for a more powerful 1.5 engines they offer in Thailand and Malaysia, you must get one starting at PHP845,000 (MYR74,300) of Manual G Grade. But, take a look at the specifications first, hmmm, safety features, anyone?

So, there you go, Malaysians. Do you still think our cars are expensive? We could even get a full-on, safety-featured vehicle with ESC and 6 airbags at a low MYR59,500!

This is only a comparison of mere prices. Some other factors are not discussed as yet; higher minimum deposit of up to 50%, shorter hire-purchase tenure of 5 years, road and other taxes, servicing costs and higher fuel prices.

In Malaysia, we are still lucky, don’t you think so?

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This is how Proton Prevé facelift could look like

Preve Facelift
A bit of BMW, Jaguar slapped on the current face here and there.

The Perdana is coming, and it was speculated it will be launched together with the Persona.

The new Saga will also be launched later this year. You could also have an early idea of how they will compare to each other.

So, how the current C-segment, the recently-exported-to-Chile Prevé will look like when it is facelifted later (next year)?

I own one, and I like it very much. Bought it about four years ago, and it is already due for a product refreshment as any car model in the market.

Here’s the facelifted Prevé, an attempt of mashed up of BMW and Jaguar frontal styling to the current Prevé’s.

The lower bumper grille had been replaced with 2012 BMW 3 series and the headlamp was taken from the style of Jaguar of late.

The rims… well… a random search of the internet will do, and it looks like an evolution of current wheel, albeit a bit similar to Exora’s.

To look at how the rear could be designed better, please click the link here.

Some interesting question to note; will the facelifted Prevé solder on with 1.6 Turbocharged CFE with Punch wet-clutch CVT, or will we see any Campro VVT and 1.3 litre Turbocharged CFE in the product range paired with JATCO torque converter CVT?

So, whaddayathink of the facelift?

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2016 Proton Saga vs 2016 Proton Persona

In the previous posts, the upcoming 2016 Proton Saga and Persona sedans were visualized. These two cars were representing Proton in two different segments, A and B segment. However, they are having a very blur line between them in Malaysia. It is expected that, while trying to outrun Perodua upcoming sedan, they’ll fight each other, too.

One of the main factor Malaysian choose to buy a car is, not surprisingly, looks. So, let’s compare them both side by side, with both highest trim level, the SE and Premium.

Saga 2016

Persona Sedan with bodykit
Comparison of the two siblings. Image should not be used without permission.

As you can see, there is vast differences with both cars. Saga retains it’s traditional three-box design; the hood, cabin and boot are clearly distinguished. Persona however, moved into cab-forward, fluidic shape common in B-segment Japanese and Korean automakers today.

Somehow, it looks like Saga is the predecessor of the Persona, despite the same year model. Both have the same design language, upswept headlamps and side sweeping rear lights. However, the Saga will have two-piece rear lights in opposed to single piece design of the Persona.

Persona undoubtly sleeker with many character lines and round motives. Saga however will be better proportioned than it’s B-segment brother.

Expect the interior of the Persona to be mostly the same as Iriz, it’s donor car. And expect too, that the saga will retain much of it’s predecessor ergonomics (despite a new design) and equipment levels. Some buttons, switches and displays might as well donated from other models in the Proton line up like Preve, Suprima, Exora and Iriz, though.

The back space of the Saga will be improved, Persona might be a bit crampy. These will determine their boot size as well. Expect more usable space from Persona boot rather than Saga, as pneumatic spring might be used again in the new Persona rather that goose-neck hinge in Saga.

What will be the main buying factor between buying a Saga or a Persona is, their price bracket.

Currently, or previously, the Saga is sold from a very cheap region of RM33,000 to RM45,000 (the Saga SV manual is the cheapest car in South East Asia, if you haven’t heard of this fact before). The Persona is sold from RM43,000 to RM64,000. Expect the similar pricing bracket after they finally launch, thus, the models at least won’t eat into each other market.

An overlap of price will be expected as people will have to choose between a highly equipped A segment  car or a basic B segment for the same price.

Expect to see that the equipment level to be very different from each other. Persona will be more upmarket with long equipment list that could be the same as Iriz. Could we expect 2-DIN head unit offered in the top of the line Saga this time?

Also, there will be no compromise on safety, if Proton are to be adamant to keep their NCAP rating. We can look forward for ISOFIX compatible seats, ABS, EBD, ESC, and airbags. Full 6 airbags for some of the variant (if not all) will almost surely be offered.

At the least, Saga might only end up with 4 airbags the most, however, stronger safety cell might be in order.

They’ll share the same engine, 1.3vvt and 1.6vvt found in Iriz, since Proton has yet to have smaller engine. Gearboxes could still be sourced from Punch wetclutch CVT and Getrag manual. Jatco torque converter CVT might not be a surprise since it had been considered and announced by Proton before.

What could be a surprise if the Saga is using a small 1.0 liter engine from Suzuki in light of Proton-Suzuki collaboration.

Time will pass and these two will be launched soon enough. In the meantime, tell us whaddayathink in the comment below.

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2016 Proton Saga

We already know that 2016 Proton Saga is coming. Proton bread-and-butter A-segment basic sedan contender against Mitsubishi Attrage and Honda Brio were found many times roaming the roads. However, the spyshots of the mules is still having much camouflage. But the camouflages reveals some important features and changes that this Saga 3 had in compared to the current generation.

It suggests that the upcoming Saga had many in common shapes and most the underpinnings of the current one are carried over. For example, the hood and windscreen might as well be carried over from it’s predecessor. This suggests that the angle between the hood and the windscreen will be just the same.

Thus, here’s my take on how the shape of the upcoming Saga SE could be like.

Saga 2016
2016 Saga SE. The rear disc brakes will be way over the top, I guess. Image may not be reproduced without permission.
Saga FLX SE
Current Saga FLX SE 1.6.

Derived from the Saga FLX SE, the changes are the headlamp, rear slopes and tail lights, bumper insert shape (enlarged), the rims (from GM) and also the door handles from Preve/Suprima/Iriz. The rear window shaope had a major change, it now have a quarter fixed window. Expect the new Saga will have fully wind down rear door window and better access to rear seat.

Everything else pretty much the same. The bodykits are the same as current Saga FLX SE, but I doubt so for the real thing to carry it over. The side character line were also made more prominent like the one on Preve/Suprima.

Compare it with the current Saga FLX SE up there, I think it looks better in proportion than the upcoming Proton Persona, which is a segment above competing against the likes of Honda City and Toyota Vios. The Saga will actually go against Perodua first sedan this year.

So, whaddayathing guys?

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