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Chery was the first carmaker to begin exporting passenger vehicles from China and not surprisingly, it has remained the country’s top passenger car exporter for 19 consecutive years. Its vehicles are now sold in more than 80 countries and regions, and it has also set up 10 factories outside China.

Like the early years of the Japanese brands venturing overseas, the quality and reliability of cars from China has also been raised by customers. There’s certainly no doubt that since the auto industry in China began accelerating its activities and development from the 1980s, the products have constantly improved with new technologies and more advanced manufacturing processes.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

To show its confidence in the reliability of its latest products, Chery has launched the new Tiggo 8 Pro in South Africa with an engine warranty that is 10 years long or up to 1 million kms (whichever comes first). This warranty complements the vehicle warranty which is 5 years or a maximum of 150,000 kms and this warranty is transferable (if still valid when the vehicle is sold to another person).

The 1 million km engine warranty is impressive but not new as Hyundai has been offering a warranty of a million miles (1.6 million kms) in America for some time. Like Chery’s warranty, it is only for the powertrain but is for up to 20 years.

Long warranties are reassuring for owners and may seem to be a long-term risk for carmakers that offer them. However, it should be noted that such warranties usually apply only to the first owner and subsequent owners will not enjoy the same length coverage. In markets like the USA, ownership of a car is for a few years and then the owner gets a new one, so in reality, the risk to the carmaker is not much different from that of warranties of 5 years.

Anyway, it’s still a good way to convince customers who wonder about quality, which was one of the reasons why Hyundai offered it in America. Back in the 1980s, when the brand first entered the market, its products had poor quality and damaged the image. The Koreans worked hard to improve quality and when they were confident they could offer better products, they backed up their claims with longer warranties.

The engine is a 1.6-litre turbocharged direct-injection petrol unit, one of Chery’s powerplants which has won awards in China for its high efficiency. The TGDI engine produces 197 ps/290 Nm.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

The new Tiggo 8 Pro is a flagship of the range and South Africa is the first country on the continent to get it. It uses ‘Movement Design’, Chery’s next-generation design language which has a galaxy-inspired 3-dimensional grille flanked by automatic matrix-LED headlamps with dual daytime running lamps, establishing a strong visual signature. Satin chrome is used for the lower air intake (which doubles as a skidplate), foglamps, grille, window frames and lower doors.

Inside, all major controls have been digitised in 3 separate screens – a horizontal 12.3-inch instrument panel, an 8-inch climate control screen, and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen ‘floating’ in the centre of the dashboard. The centre screen, which also displays the rearview image from a camera, operates the infotainment system which is Apple CarPlay/Android Auto ready.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

The fully automatic climate control system has dual-zone circulation and, in consideration of increased concerns about air quality today, there is an N95-grade air purifying system as standard. For the Executive variant, rear occupants receive more cool air with an additional air-conditioning system for the rearmost seats. All variants offer wireless charging, intelligent voice control and eight surround speakers by Sony. Leather upholstery is standard, with the driver’s seat having 6-way power-adjustment.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

According to Chery Malaysia, the Tiggo range will be offered in Malaysia soon. There are also plans to do local assembly with a partner that has not been revealed. Chery first appeared in Malaysia in the early 2000s with the QQ minicar and then assembled a few models at the former Oriental Assemblers plant in Johor (now owned by Berjaya).

When Chery first came to Malaysia in the early 2000s, it offered models such as the QQ minicar (blue and green cars) and the A160, as well as the first generation of the Tiggo. 20 years later, the carmaker has greatly advanced its design and engineering capabilities and now offers models like the new OMODA 5 (below) which will soon be available in Malaysia along with the new Tiggo.

Chery Automobile to enter US market using newly-created VANTAS brand name


SunAgata Supercars Sdn Bhd today officially opened Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur, its showroom and service centre to provide sales and aftersales services for the Italian brand in Malaysia. SunAgata Supercars was appointed as Lamborghini’s sole authorized dealer and aftersales provider in January last year and has been operating from the Audi Centre in Glenmarie, Selangor.

Its new facility is also in the same area but located along the main road through the district. The styling of the premises follows Lamborghini themes which are characterized by polygons, clean lines and modern architecture.

Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur 2022

Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur 2022

A special area of the showroom has been set up as an Ad Personam room where customers can personalize their car with the wide range of options. There are samples of various materials for them to feel so they can decide exactly what they want. From the colours and materials to the seat’s logo and embroidered initials inside the cabin, virtually every wish can be given form by choosing from infinite combinations, and fitment will be to the high standards of quality Lamborghini prides itself in.

Lamborghini is a strong and highly acclaimed brand worldwide and our new dealership environment is a tangible demonstration of this. We believe that the strong partnership between Lamborghini and SunAgata Supercars will effectively communicate our brand values as well as deliver an unparalleled customer ownership experience,” said Francesco Scardaoni, Region Director of Automobile Lamborghini Asia Pacific, at the opening ceremony this morning.

Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur 2022

Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur 2022

Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur 2022

To celebrate the occasion, the first Aventador LP780-4 Ultimae in Malaysia was unveiled. The Ultimae edition is the final production model of the V12 supercar. 600 cars will be available – 350 in coupe form and 250 roadsters, with pricing starting from around RM1.9 million. There are a few orders from Malaysians, but all 600 units have already been sold and there are customers hoping that some of the orders will be cancelled and the cars re-allocated.

Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur also displayed a selection of iconic models owned by Malaysians. The red Countach on the left was originally owned by the Bee Gees Sir Barry Gibb who purchased it in 1983.

It’s not known how many new Lamborghinis were sold in Malaysia last year but for the Asia-Pacific area, the carmaker reported that 2,249 units were sold in 2021. The 14% increase from the year before contributed to Lamborghini’s best sales results ever, with 8,405 cars delivered worldwide.

Lamborghini’s other records that you may not know about

Toyota’s Dream Car Art Contest has been ongoing since 2004 and has seen participation from over 6.2 million children from some 100 countries and regions. It’s an event that invites children to show what their dream car looks like and their idea of the future of mobility through drawings. The best and most creative entries are recognized with awards from the carmaker.

Malaysian children have participated in the contest for over 10 years and in some years, their submissions have won awards. In fact, one of them even won the President Akio Toyoda Award, a special award from the President of Toyota Motor Corporation, in the seventh edition of the contest in 2013.

A chance to attend the World Contest
Each year, national contests are held first to pick winners who will represent their country and these winners will have a chance to attend the World Contest in Japan. For the 2022 Toyota Dream Car Art Contest, the Malaysian winners are Chong Xia Juan in Category 1 (7 years old and under), Choo Yi Zhe in Category 2 (8 – 11 years old) and Liew Jia Xin in Category 3 (12 – 15 years old).

For their efforts, the winners also received special category prizes such as an Apple iPad, Apple Watch and Electric Scooter, as well as vouchers worth RM400 for the other winners.

Future of mobility through children’s perspective
“Despite the pandemic, I am pleased to announce that we received over 2,280 entries. I would like to thank the participants, their parents and everyone involved for making this year’s Toyota Dream Car Art Contest a success! We are very inspired by the imagination and ideas of these children, and I enjoyed looking at the future of mobility through their perspectives. As a leader in mobility, we will continue innovating with a focus on sustainability to pave the pathway to our future of Electrification in Malaysia,” said President of UMW Toyota Motor, Ravindran. K.

At the virtual Toyota Dream Car Art Contest Closing Ceremony, Mohd Shamsor Mohd Zain, UMW Toyota Motor’s Executive Director of Sales, noted that every submission was invigorating and stimulating, brimming with the passion and dreams of the young artists, with those of the three winners having stood out the most. He also applauded the creativity of the participants and hopes that the next generation of great inventors, thinkers and dreamers can be nurtured from this contest.

Leng Yi Shun, who was a Bronze Award winner, won the President Akio Toyoda Award in the 7th Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in 2013.

The three winners, together with the two runners-up of each category, will be accompanied by a parent or guardian to attend the World Contest and Awards Ceremony in August this year.

Click here to know more about the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest (Malaysian event).

Toyota Mobility Foundation’s CATCH offers two solutions to address Kuala Lumpur’s mobility and city planning challenges


Along with the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class (Z223), Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is also bringing in the GLS 600 4MATIC SUV, the only other model in the ultra-exclusive sub-brand above the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Like the Z223, the GLS 600 costs considerably more than the model from which it was adapted (from RM1.89 million before adding insurance) and as we wondered, why would someone pay so much more when it would be possible to personalize a Mercedes-Benz GLS with additional luxury fittings and probably spend less? Well, we’re not in that segment of customers who can afford such cars so it’s hard to understand but it may be that there are some who want exclusivity as well as the assurance of the product being made by the same manufacturer, and not an independent outside party.

2022 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC

Where the differences are
Unless the S-Class, the GLS 600 has a closer resemblance to the Mercedes-Benz version, even size-wise. It has Maybach-specific styling elements but, at a glance, it would be hard to see the difference although the extra chrome trim does offer a clue. Where the Mercedes-Benz GLS sports a large star between two horizontal louvres in the radiator grille, the Mercedes-Maybach grille has a fine, elegant line of vertical chrome. At the lower level are ‘oar-blades’ at each side, with a classy mesh grille over them.

Along the sides is another classy feature – aluminium retractable side steps. The GLS 600 isn’t the only one with it but it is nevertheless something that will impress since you don’t see it often. The 2.06-metre long custom-designed steps, with extra width towards the rear half, fold out from underneath when a door is opened (and the vehicle is also lower slightly). Closing the door will reverse the action and the steps fit flush against the underside so there is no loss of ground clearance. This feature is exclusive to the Mercedes-Benz Maybach version.

The 23-inch wheels were developed exclusively for this model and have the pinstripe theme of the brand. The tailpipe trim elements with a small cross rib emphasise the model’s identity as a Mercedes-Maybach. The same applies to the brand emblem, which is positioned at various points such as on the D-pillar.

2022 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC

Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC
Extra money gets you this 2-tone paint finish with a dividing line which is applied by hand, adding another level of exclusivity.

First-class cabin
It’s on the inside that much of the reason for the higher price is evident. Needless to say, the character of the interior is reflected in the high-grade materials and the high level of craftsmanship. Where the Mercedes-Benz GLS has 3 rows for up to 7 persons, the Mercedes-Maybach version has only two rows and the back one is for just two persons. The seats look like they came from the first-class cabin of an airliner with power everything and a generous reclining angle.

2022 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC

Between the seats is a wide console and at its rear end is a lid which opens into a refrigerated compartment. The refrigerator is an option but for the Malaysian market, it comes as a standard fitment. It has a large volume but that also means that it sticks into the boot area and takes away a bit of space.

From their elevated seating position, thanks to electrically operated roller sunblinds on the two rear side windows, the passengers can decide for themselves how much of their surroundings they want to see. Overhead is an electrically opening panoramic sliding/tilting sunroof with an opaque roller blind which will certainly be needed with our burning sunshine.

2022 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC

While a SUV is often regarded as a more leisure-oriented vehicles, the GLS 600 can also be used as a mobile office for those who cannot (or don’t want to) disconnect from their business. There are multiple options with WLAN/Bluetooth to enable the occupants to stay connected to the rest of the world and folding tables and a 115/230 V socket can be installed. The MBUX Rear Tablet with a 7-inch screen acts as a control centre for all the comfort features and can also be removed and used as an Android tablet. The MBUX infotainment system with Rear Seat Entertainment System uses two 11.6-inch touchscreens and each screen can display the content selected by the individual user.

Better air quality and enhanced wellness
In this age of greater concern for air quality, the AIR-BALANCE helps to improve the quality with two particularly clever features. One is active fragrancing of the interior with technology that ensures the fragrance actually evaporates after system deactivation and air exchange so no perfume droplets stick to clothing or the occupants.

The AIR-BALANCE Package also has air ionisation using a high-voltage ioniser in the air duct. The ioniser generates negative ions and owing to the magnetic attraction, they form heavier agglomerations and fall to the floor. In this way, certain viruses, bacteria and spores can be deactivated while the air will be fresher.

2022 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC

The suspension is based on that of the Mercedes-Benz GLS with AIRMATIC air suspension and Adaptive Damping System Plus (ADS+). The E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension based on the 48V on-board electrical system, an innovation in suspension technology, is standard. A special Maybach drive program has been developed to provide class-leading ride comfort.

Hybrid powertrain with cylinder-cut
For power, the M177 engine is used and this is a new, electrified variant of the V8 petrol engine with a displacement of 3982 cc and has a 48V on-board electrical system with integrated starter-alternator (ISG). The ISG is responsible for hybrid functions such as EQ Boost or energy recovery, allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology.

2022 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC

The output of the bi-turbo engine is 558 ps/730 Nm, and can be boosted by 250 Nm/22 ps momentarily. For fuel-savings, the variable valve control system CAMTRONIC can shut down 4 cylinders when demands are low. The transition between on 4 and 8 cylinders is seamless an absorber reduces vibrations that come from running on less cylinders.

Mercedes-Benz has had lots of experience in all-wheel drive, not only when it developed its first SUV in 1997 but even before that with the G-Wagen. For the GLS 600, the power flows through a 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission to a transfer case that can vary torque from 0 – 100% between the front and rear axles.

Sophisticated PRE-SAFE systems
The tallness of a SUV has always been a challenge for engineers as there is a higher risk of roll-over. The PRE-SAFE system has active systems that can lower this risk significantly, but accidents can still happen. This is where the additional airbags installed in the rear seats help to give better protection to the passengers while Impulse Side, which is part of the Driving Assistance package Plus, uses the close-range radar sensors to detect an impending side-on collision and can prompt the driver or front passenger to move further away from the danger zone.

An interesting feature is the use of hearing, an area that often gets forgotten. If a probable impact is detected, the PRE-SAFE Sound system transmits a noise signal through the sound system of the vehicle which can trigger a reflex. It causes the stapedius muscle in the inner ear to contract and thus muffles the noise level of a major collision. This small action could help reduce the disorientation caused to the passenger by the impact and enable him or her to get out quickly.

2022 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC

Mercedes-Maybach creates limited edition to celebrate 100th anniversary of Maybach W3

Following the reveal of the new Ford Ranger last year, Ford has now finally given the new Everest SUV its global debut. While the press materials don’t mention the Ranger, it’s no secret that the two models are essentially shared products, with the Everest being a SUV version of the pick-up. The connection has been important, particularly in Thailand, where it is advantageous to be a truck-based SUV.

2022 Ford Everest

Ford design DNA
For the new Everest, which starts its third generation, the chassis has wider tracks and a longer wheelbase. The styling is that of a modern SUV with the same ‘C-clamp’ headlamps and strong horizontal upper grille bar at the front, now the signature look of Ford’s trucks and SUVs. For the Everest, the front end also has a mix of horizontal and vertical elements. The wider tracks add a muscular image to the vehicle with a more dramatic swell over the wheels.

The new integrated or stand-off roof rails are more than just a design detail as the Everest roof can now support static loads of up to 350 kgs and dynamic loads of up to 100 kgs. This means owners can carry bikes, canoes, a cargo pod or roof-top tent. A universal mounting system allows for addition of a range of accessories.

“We showed customers the Everest at several points during the design process, and their feedback was consistent: They loved the exterior with the strong and rugged design, but they also thought it was sleek and modern,” said Max Wolff, Design Director for China and Ford’s International Markets Group. “They said that the Everest would give them the confidence to go off-road; it looks like a proper SUV.”

Three engine options
Depending on the market, the Everest will be available with turbodiesel and petrol engines. There is a new 3-litre turbodiesel V6 and the proven 2-litre turbodiesel, and from 2023, a 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. The present generation sold in Malaysia has a 2-litre bi-turbo diesel engine and this is likely to be maintained while the petrol engine would probably also be offered. Ford’s 10-speed SelectShift automatic will continue to be available as well as a 6-speeder.

Besides the 50 mm increase in the track for a more controlled ride on-road, revisions have been made to the damper settings ‘to inject more fun and control’ into the Everest’s ride, on and off-road. There will be two 4×4 drive systems – a 2-speed electronic type (also known as a part-time 4×4) and an advanced, permanent 4-wheel drive system with an electronically controlled on-demand 2-speed electromechanical transfer case with selectable drive modes.

2022 Ford Everest

A rear locking differential is fitted and, in some markets, the Everest will also be available with 2-wheel drive. As with the current Ranger and Everest, the vehicle can move through water up to 800 mm deep.

‘Sanctuary’ in the cabin
While customers told the Ford people that they wanted toughness and capability on the outside and underneath, for the Inside, they wanted a ‘sanctuary’. So the designers put a lot of thought into the function and feel of the interior, taking inspiration from modern homes and bringing in plush materials, premium finishes and ambient lighting all in areas where customers can appreciate them the best.

2022 Ford Everest

The sense of spaciousness is amplified by the full-width dashboard. Access to the third-row seats is much easier, thanks to second-row seats that slide further forward than before. Additionally, all occupants now have places to store their things and depending on the model, charge their devices with power outlets in all three rows (some variants will have wireless charging pads).

Ford’s interior designers prioritised flexible seating in the new Everest so the second-row slides with a 60:40 split seatback and the 50:50 split third row in the 7-seater configuration can be folded at the touch of a button. Importantly, both the second and third-row seats have been designed to fold flat to allow for long loads to be carried safely.

2022 Ford Everest

To stop items falling out of the back opening when the tailgate is up, there is a small lip, affectionately known as the ‘apple catcher valley’, at the rear of the cargo area. The team also created an underfloor compartment for storing small items.

“One of the first things you’ll notice when you get into a new Everest is how quiet it is,” said Wolff. “We’ve all been in vehicles with multiple rows of seats, where you have to twist your head around and almost shout to be heard by passengers in the second or third rows. That’s an issue we wanted to solve for the Everest, so the interior would be a quiet place in which you can easily talk to your family or friends and enjoy the journey together.”

Customer-focused technology
In addition to a more refined and comfortable interior, Ford focused on incorporating the latest connectivity and technology features. 8-inch or 12.4-inch digital instrument panels replace the traditional analogue clusters so it’s a ‘glass cockpit’ now. Additionally, in the middle of the dashboard is a high-resolution touchscreen in either 10.1-inch or 12-inch sizes, running Ford’s latest infotainment system known as SYNC 4A.

2022 Ford Everest

The portrait-orientated screen also is linked to a 360-degree camera with split-view display to make parking easier in tight urban spaces or to assist when negotiating particularly tricky terrain. In addition, the driver can control the new exterior zone lighting system via the touchscreen which means they don’t have to park, work, camp or do anything in the dark.

2022 Ford Everest

Where available, the Everest’s dedicated off-road screen displays vehicle information and a front camera view of the terrain ahead, with predictive overlay guidelines designed to help the driver negotiate obstacles. With a single button press, the driver can view their driveline and diff-lock indicators, steering angle and guides, and vehicle roll and pitch angles. The camera views also help the driver guide the SUV into position to connect a trailer.

Driver-assist technologies
Ford has always treated its SUVs and pick-up trucks the same way where safety is concerned, giving just as much safety technology as its passenger cars. For the Everest, there are new and enhanced driver assist technologies and safety features to take the stress out of driving and help drivers to remain focused.

A new far-side airbag positioned between the driver and front passenger provides additional protection in the event of a side impact. Depending on the variant and the market, the addition of the far-side airbag and dual knee airbags brings the number of airbags up to 9, which cover all 3 rows.

With Active Park Assist 2.0, the new Everest can help the driver fit safely in tight spaces at the press of a button. The system takes care of the steering, gearshifts, acceleration and braking to manoeuvre into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces. It will also steer itself out of a parallel parking spot when prompted.

2022 Ford Everest

The Everest is primarily made in Thailand, along with the Ranger, and is expected to go on sale later this year. As Sime Darby Auto ConneXion has been selling the Everest, it would likely continue with the new generation, perhaps in 2023. If you’re interested in getting the current model, there should be some stocks available. Visit www.sdacford.com.my to locate a showroom for more information.



‘Ford Ranger Getaways’ by SDAC-Ford provide owners with ways to enjoy their truck to the fullest


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