We Malaysians, love cars. The fact that we don’t have just one, but two national cars triumphing the chart of Total Industry Volume (TIV) says a lot. They are none other than Proton and Perodua. Amidst the harsh hitting pandemic, many carmakers have plans to launch their new model before the year ends. In addition, many car enthusiasts are making a beeline to the showroom because the local government has introduced tax-holiday early this year. With that being said, let’s check out what are the exciting new car launches in Malaysia.
Proton has teased us for many months about their upcoming mid-size SUV, X50. It is based on Geely Binyue, which is one of their hot-selling models in China. In September this year, Proton finally soft launched the X50 and it is confirmed that there will be 4 variants available, ranging from Standard, Executive, Premium and Flagship. Other than that, we also found out that the full spec Flagship model comes with Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) which is an improved version of the X70, the C-segment SUV from Proton.
On October 27, Proton finally launched the X50. The Flagship model is fitted with 1.5 litre Turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection (TGDi) engine, produces 177PS and 255 Nm of torque while the other variants are fitted with 1.5 litre Turbocharged Multi-Point Injection (TMPi) engine produces 150PS and 226Nm of torque. The X50 was also tested with a full five-star ASEAN NCAP crash safety rating, starting with 4 airbags for Standard variant and 6 airbags for Executive variant and above. I must say, the Proton X50 is definitely a bang for your buck.
The Kona is Hyundai’s upcoming compact SUV that fits the sweet spot for those who are looking for a nimble and sporty SUV. The Kona is fitted with 1.6 litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDi) engine produces 177 PS and 265 Nm of torque alongside with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It is going head to head with the CKD Proton X50. For the non-turbo liker, there will be an entry level 2.0 MPI option available with a six-speed torque converter automatic, lower power output and no ADAS features. The company has teased the launch of the Kona since 2018 and they have finally opened their order book last month. Having known for its good handling and innovative design cues, we are anticipating to see this crossover on Malaysia’s roads.
When we think of a pick-up, we will immediately think about Mitsubishi. Having known for its Triton, a 4x4 powerful pick up that we usually see speeding down the road, Mitsubishi is back this time around with an all-new MPV. Mitsubishi Xpander is a seven-seater MPV fitted with 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated (NA) engine produces 105PS and 141Nm of torque. The Xpander features a massive nine inch touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and a 360-degree camera system similar to the one in Proton X70. The massiveness does not stop here, the Xpander features a massive 836 litres of storage space when the third row seats are folded flat as well as a full-size spare tyre hidden underneath the car, given most cars these days do not come with spare tyre at all. The Xpander is no doubt a practical MPV with distinctive style and features.
The popular B-segment sedan Honda City is no longer a new name in the market, it is one of the best selling non-national sedans in Malaysia back in 2019. This year, Honda Malaysia has brought back the household name with 4 variants, one of them being the world debut City RS i-MMD hybrid. The RS i-MMD system combines a 1.5 litre DOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder engine with an electric motor producing 109PS and 253Nm of torque. The focus for this new engine set up is the new i-MMD powertrain, globally known as e:HEV, is claimed to provide high efficiency electrification combined with a direct and smooth response. It is no surprise that the all-new Honda City is equipped with Honda Sensing which offers an array of active safety features that benefit Malaysian city drivers. If you prefer a more conventional powertrain, the S, E and V variants that are fitted with a conventional naturally-aspirated i-VTEC engine will be your choice. Will Honda City triumph the chart again this year?
The Porsche Taycan, the Porsche’s first electric vehicle to be built on an 800-volt electrical architecture has finally arrived in Malaysia. This luxurious 4 doors electric sports car comes with 3 variants, starting with the entry-level Taycan 4S, Taycan Turbo and range topper Taycan Turbo S. The latter variants come with a total power of 625PS and 1,050Nm of torque coming from its 93.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that powers the car. Sprinting from 0 to 100km/h at only 2.8 seconds.
The driving range is very important for an electric car, the Taycan Turbo offers a range of up to 452km while the Taycan Turbo S comes second at 416km and Taycan 4S gives a maximum range of 408 km on a single charge. The Porsche Taycan comes with four years of vehicle warranty and eight years of battery warranty. All Porsche centers are installed with a 175-kW DC charger which delivers a full charge in just 36 minutes, some may boast it is faster than fully charging a smartphone. It is exciting to see more electric vehicles being introduced in Malaysia however with a hefty price tag of RM700k, it is still a relatively far fetch for Malaysians who wanted to be on board. Ultimately the Taycan is a CBU model and CBU taxes are known to be expensive in Malaysia, we hope that one day a CKD model will be available.