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LAUNCHED 24 JUST Toyota Hilux 3.0G

Call me ‘Tough and Powerful’ THE new Toyota Hilux 3.0G adds a touch of “tough and powerful” to the very successful Toyota Hilux line which has been developed along the “tough, sophisticated and modern” concept . In addition, the Hilux 3.0G which is imported as a CBU (completely built-up) vehicle from Thailand, comes with a whole load of safety features. But first the tough and powerful part which will endear it to customers with more demanding requirements. It carries a powerful version of Toyota’s D-4D Commonrail Turbo Diesel four-cylinder engine. For the Hilux 3.0G engine, there is an air-cooled intercooler to lower the ingoing air temperature so that it can be more dense and oxygen-rich. This enhances efficiency and boosts output for better performance. Additionally, the engine is also fitted with a Variable Nozzle Turbocharger (VNT) that can vary airflow speed according to driving conditions to maintain optimum

turbocharger boost at all times. The result is improved torque and better power output. Maximum power for the 3.0G engine is 120 kW (163 ps) at 3,400 rpm and maximum torque of 343 Nm is generated from between 1,400 and 3,200 rpm. This high output and an especially long and flat torque band not only gives stronger acceleration in all speed ranges but also enhance fuel efficiency. The 3.0G is fitted with a fuel cooler to reduce the temperature of the diesel fuel that is not consumed and

returned to the fuel tank. This is due to the increased engine output which raises operating temperatures. With the fuel cooler, the viscosity of the diesel fuel is not reduced and the fuel delivery efficiency can be maintained. Just as a vehicle is powerful, the safety factor has to be enhanced and Toyota has accordingly paid attention to this. The Hilux 3.0G has many active and passive safety features which can be found in Toyota passenger cars. These include an anti-lock braking system (ABS), load-sensing proportioning and bypass valve,

limited slip differential (LSD) on the rear axle, large 15-inch ventilated discs in front and SRS airbags for both front occupants. While “active safety” helps the driver avoid accidents, “passive safety” provides protection when the vehicle is involved in an accident. For a start, the body is GOAcertified which means it satisfies the tough in-house safety standards of Toyota which are defined in GOA — Global Outstanding Assessment. All Toyota models must pass GOA and this standard is not static as it is regularly revised and typically is ahead of most international safety requirements. For the Hilux, the cabin’s interior structure is designed to reduce injuries to the head in the event that the occupants’ heads hit the sides. Besides the various unseen features that provide body strengthening, the Hilux body also has reinforcement beams inside the side doors. These provide extra resistance against side collisions as the doors themselves are mostly hollow in construction. The Hilux has a steering column which collapses so that it does not get pushed against the driver during a frontal collision, and the brake pedal will also collapse for the same reason. All three rear occupants have seatbelts, the two nearest the door

having three-point types while the centre occupant has a two-point lap belt. Laminated glass, which does not shatter on most impacts, is also standard for the Hilux so that there are no shards of glass which can cause injuries. The 3.0G has a four-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission (ECT) and a part-time 4x4 system with High and Low ranges in the chain-driven transfer case. The 4x4 High range can be selected from 2WD mode while the vehicle is in motion at speeds of up to 80 km/h. Selection of the Low range, however, must be done at speeds below 8 km/h or when the Hilux is stationary. Decades of experience in making the Hilux for customers all over the world has shown that the most reliable and robust 4x4 selection method is still the mechanical type. The Hilux comes with a standard automatic disconnecting differential (ADD) which makes engaging and disengaging 4x4 very convenient, even while the vehicle is on the move. With ADD, there is no need to have free-wheeling hubs that usually require manual locking of the hubs for 4x4


operations. The Hilux uses a time-proven independent double wishbone/coil spring at the front and rear leafspring suspension at the rear which offers good control and comfort, even when the vehicle is lightly loaded. For better handling over rough terrain, the suspension mounts at the front and rear are especially strong at the joints which meet the frame, giving greater rigidity. This also gives better straight line stability, often lacking in pickups. The rack and pinion steering system has power-assistance and 15-inch alloy wheels are fitted to the 3.0G while the standard tyre size provided is 255/70R15. As with the other Hilux variants, the 3.0G maintains the same styling theme with the distinctive trapezoidal shape and tough imposing image. Exclusively for the new 3.0G is the Optitron instrument panel which is installed behind a smoked acrylic protective cover. Opitron meters were originally developed for use in Lexus models and are also available in selected Toyota models today. There are lots more going for the 3.0G. — ­ AC Syndication


MMM CEO Tetsuya Oda (3rd from left) and COO Omar Haron (3rd from right) unveiling the Pajero to the Malaysian press.

Driving in the lap of Pajero luxury MITSUBISHI Motors Malaysia (MMM) recently launched the fourth generation Pajero in Malaysia. The company aims to position the Pajero in the luxury or premium offroad capable SUV (sport utility vehicle) segment by offering the highest spec Pajero available with a 3.8-litre V6 MIVEC engine. “Today’s Pajero is a complete package blending robustness and go-anywhere ability with luxury and comfort,” said Mitsubishi Motors CEO Tetsuya Oda at the launch of the new Pajero at Carcosa Seri Negara in Kuala Lumpur. “This seven-seater Mitsubishi flagship 4x4 is a great addition to the Mitsubishi range of vehicles in Malaysia noted for their toughness, excitement and eco friendliness.” Mitsubishi Motors holds the record

for 12 wins in the gruelling Dakar Rally, with seven consecutive wins from 2001. The 3.8-litre V6 24-valve engine pumps out 247HP at 6,000rpm and 329Nm of torque at 2,750rpm. It is paired to an INVECS-II fivespeed automatic transmission with Sport mode which combines the convenience of an automatic with the control of a manual gearbox when needed. Drive is transferred to the wheels via the Super Select 4WD II (SS4II) system, which has four driver selectable modes: 2H, 4H, 4HLc and 4LLc. Active safety includes the All Wheel Control (AWC) system that promises to deliver precise traction, power and slip control for each wheel independently to ensure complete driver control.

One major component of the Pajero’s AWC system is active stability and traction control (ASTC) which is integrated with multi-mode ABS and EBD. The Pajero provides its passengers with all round safety as it comes with front, side and curtain airbags. The centre piece of the Pajero’s dashboard is the high-end Rockford Acoustic Design premium sound system of 12 speakers, an 860-watt amplifier, digital signal proccessor (DSP) and a 5.1 channel theatre surround system, allowing sound balance to be adjusted to focus on the front seats, middle row or the whole cabin. Fully imported from Japan, the Mitsubishi Pajero 3.8 V6 is priced at RM282,411.50 on the road excluding insurance.


Silky smooth Isuzu D-Max VERY refined, impressive engine response and greater fuel economy. These are among the words to describe the new 2.5L 4x4 Super Commonrail D-Max truck that was launched by Isuzu Malaysia recently. This new model complements the 2.5L 4x2 and 3L 4x4 D-Max line-up. In addition to the 4x4 capability, it also features a more powerful 4JK1TC Super Commonrail engine, one of the best selling one-tonne pickup truck engines in the world with close to half a million units produced since its introduction in 2005. “The new Isuzu D-Max 2.5-litre Super Commonrail model is expected to provide customers with a pickup truck that offers brisk performance with exceptionally low running costs,” said Isuzu Malaysia CEO Takashi Hata. “It is also aimed at the smart motorist who appreciates the technological advancements made in pickup truck technology, yet demands its core strengths of versatility and toughness. “The company expects the new 2.5-litre Super Commonrail model to help maintain its strong growth trend in the pickup segment with monthly sales of 150 units of the new model adding to its current average monthly demand of 480 units.” The new 2,499cc four-cylinder Super Commonrail engine gets its added performance characteristics from its over-square configuration of 95.4mm x 87.4mm design. As with all Isuzu engines, the new 4JK-1 engine is developed to provide reliable and efficient operation even when pushed to the extreme. Inside, the engine boasts of a melt-in liner and two-storey water jacket to effectively dissipate heat from the block and cylinder head. Fuel, oil and an EGR cooler further keeps the engine running at its optimal temperature range for better

Isuzu Malaysia CEO Takashi Hata (right) with Sales Planning manager Yasuhiko Oyama.

performance. Maximum power of 114hp is produced at 3,600rpm while maximum torque of 280Nm is developed from a low 1,800rpm till 2,200rpm. This represents an increase of 47 per cent more power and 59 per cent more torque over the directinjection 2.5-litre 4x2 D-Max. It is mated to a new five-speed manual gearbox that is specially developed to match the performance characteristics of the engine. This is further enhanced with the use of Isuzu’s famed touch-on-the-fly 4WD system that allows the driver to select between two- and four-wheel drive at speeds up to 100km/h at the simple touch of a button on the dashboard. ABS and EBD are also standard features on the new D-Max. Inside, the 2.5L 4x4 Super Commonrail D-Max shares a lot with its three-litre brethren, including the e-Lumax instrument panel complete

with multi-information display, 2-DIN audio system and dual SRS airbags as well as leather-wrapped gear knob and steering wheel in the fullspecification model. Similarities with the 3.0-litre model also include the use of projector headlamps and fog lamps, aero-type side steps, chrome door mirrors with turn signal repeaters and reverse sensors. Prices for the new 2.5-litre Super Commonrail model range from RM82,411.40 to RM88,737.40 (on the road) for the top of line variant. As an introductory offer, Isuzu Malaysia will have a Smart Saver package where customers who purchase a double cabin D-Max get a free Garmin GPS and a cash rebate. This offer is valid according to specific terms and conditions till November 30, 2010 or while stocks last. For more details, log on www.isuzu.

28 FEATURE History of Range Rover

An Icon turns 40 The Range Rover celebrated its 40th birthday on June 17, 2010. One of the most significant vehicles in the history of motoring, the Range Rover was the first vehicle as good on road as off road. It was the first fully capable luxury 4x4. From princes to politicians, from footballers to farmers, the Range Rover has always appealed to a diverse group.

By 4x4 Network

THE idea to combine the comfort and on-road ability of a Rover saloon with the offroad ability of a Land Rover came from Charles Spencer “Spen” King because “nobody was doing it at the time”. Work on the first prototype Range Rover, then known as the “100-inch stationwagon”, began in 1966. “It was going to be a premium leisure vehicle, but not really a luxury vehicle,” says former project engineer Geof Miller. It was also intended to be technically adventurous. “Spen was convinced the vehicle must have car-like coil springs front and rear for on-road ride comfort, and no other 4x4 offered them. It needed very long travel suspension for offroad suppleness.” Other technical novelties would include an aluminium body (like the Land Rover), an all-aluminium engine and disc brakes all round. Only 10 prototypes were built before the first vehicle came down the Solihull production line.

The actual Range Rover name was coined by stylist Tony Poole, after other model names — among them Panther and Leopard — were rejected. Even before the car went on sale, the Range Rover completed an arduous crossing of the Sahara driven by project engineer Geof Miller, Roger Crathorne (an engineer on the Range Rover project) and other test drivers and technicians. The trip took place from October to December 1969, two vehicles were used, prototypes five and six. The trip was primarily a hot weather testing exercise, although offroad sand performance was also evaluated. The journey began in northern Algeria, on the fringe of the Sahara. The two vehicles went into the Niger Desert, before heading back into Algeria, and then south again deep into the Sahara. The vehicles crossed the Hoggar Mountains before reaching Tamanrasset, the oasis town virtually in the middle of the Sahara. Then, they followed old trade routes to the

Moroccan border. The adventure finished at Casablanca, where the vehicles were shipped back to Britain. The Range Rover was announced to the world’s media on June 17, 1970 (the press launch was in Cornwall, with the offroad testing in tin mines near St Agnes). The first Range Rover sales brochure spoke about “the most versatile motor car in the world”, and the “interfusing of Rover car comfort with Land Rover strength and fourwheel drive mobility”. The Range Rover went on to be the world’s first luxury all-terrain vehicle. But, although that first Range Rover had a luxury car ride and premium saloon performance, it did not have the trimmings of a luxury car. The first Range Rover was a relatively spartan vehicle inside, with vinyl seat trim and vinyl and moulded rubber flooring to make it easy to hose out. There was no wood, or leather, or even carpet. It certainly wasn’t a luxury vehicle, at least not initially, that came quite a few years

later. The key quality that gave the Range Rover its luxury road car feel, and its awesome offroad ability, was the long travel coil springs. Their long travel nature also made for fantastic axle articulation, a big advantage offroad. A rear self-levelling unit maintained handling and ride quality irrespective of load, and helped make the Range Rover an awesome tow vehicle. The Range Rover was also the first offroad vehicle to use disc brakes front and rear. These were necessary because of the vehicle’s considerable performance: 96mph top speed made it the fastest, and quickest accelerating 4x4 on the road. The park brake, as with a Land Rover, operated on the transmission. The performance came from the brawny aluminium 3.5-litre 156bhp V8, a modified version of a Buick/ General Motors design. The engine, also used in a Rover saloon, was ideally suited to the Range Rover: it was light, powerful, torquey and


mechanically simple. It was allied to a four-speed manual gearbox. The two-speed transfer gearbox gave, in effect, eight speeds. A centre differential allowed for permanent four-wheel drive. Again, this was unique. All other production 4x4s of the time, including the contemporary Land Rover, had selectable 4x4. The centre diff could be locked for enhanced offroad prowess. There have been three generations of Range Rover. The original, now known as the Classic, went on sale in 1970 and continued in production, with numerous upgrades and a multiplicity of variants, for just over 25 years. By the 80s, the pace of development picked up, mostly to make the vehicle more luxurious. Cabin trim was regularly upgraded, and carpet, leather upholstery and wood trim elevated the Range Rover into a viable alternative to luxury saloon cars — the first 4x4 to do so. The Range Rover was one of the world’s first luxury cars to offer a

30 FEATURE History of Range Rover diesel engine. The original plan was for Land Rover to develop its own diesel V8, based on the petrol aluminium V8. Co-engineered with diesel experts Perkins, the engine programme — codenamed Iceberg — was due to go on sale in the early 80s. The project was eventually canned when development costs escalated. Instead, Land Rover bought an engine from Italian diesel specialists VM. This 2.4-litre unit did not give sparkling performance — 0-60 mph time was over 18 seconds — but it did win buyers in the increasing diesel-biased mainland European market when it went on sale in 1986, and paved the way for much better performing diesel engines. The 3.5-litre aluminium V8 was enlarged to 3.9 litres in 1989, and then to 4.2 litres in 1992, improving performance and refinement. The three-speed Chrysler automatic gearbox ­— first available in 1982 — was replaced by a smoother and more efficient ZF four-speed in 1985, further broadening appeal. A long wheelbase version, the LSE, featuring height adjustable electronic suspension came out in 1992, a few years before the launch of the next Range Rover. The electronic suspension was also optional on the normal 100-inch wheelbase model. The Range Rover was the world’s first 4x4 to be fitted with anti-lock brakes. Land Rover engineers had been working on developing ABS for

five years. The problem was that slippery surfaces and bumpy rocky ground upset early prototypes. A solution was found, and ABS was offered as standard on the top-line model from 1989, and was optional on lower-trim versions. In 1992, the Range Rover Classic was the world’s first 4x4 to be fitted with electronic traction control (ETC) and with automatic electronic air suspension (EAS). Initially fitted on the rear axle

only, but soon after extended to all four wheels, ETC gave a big boost to the vehicle’s offroad ability, by transferring torque to the wheel offering the most grip and it also improved on-road safety. The EAS system was fitted to the Range Rover Classic, at the same time that the long-wheelbase (LSE) version was offered. Since that time electronic air suspension is standard on the second- and third-generation Range Rovers. The second-generation vehicle, known as the P38a (because it was developed in building 38A in the Solihull factory), went on sale in 1994. Three engines were offered, a BMW 2.5 six-cylinder turbo diesel — which offered considerably better performance than the old Classic diesel — and both 3.9 and 4.6 versions of the aluminium Rover V8. The 4.6 gave a top speed of 125mph and 0-60 acceleration in 9.3 seconds, the fastest production Range Rover to date. The height adjustable suspension, which made its debut in the twilight of the Classic’s life, was further developed for the P38a and was offered as


Range Rover Milestones 1966 Work began on the first Range Rover prototype, known as the “100-inch stationwagon” 1970 The original two-door Range Rover — known as the Classic — goes on sale 1971 Range Rover receives the RAC Dewar award for outstanding technical achievement 1972 The Range Rover is the first vehicle to cross the Darien Gap on a British Army Trans-America expedition 1974 Range Rover completes west to east Sahara desert expedition — 7,500 miles in 100 days 1977 A modified Range Rover wins the 4x4 class in the London-Sydney Marathon, a gruelling 30,000km (18,750 miles) event and the longest ever speed-based car rally 1979 A specially modified Range Rover wins the first Paris-Dakar Rally (a Range Rover wins again in 1981) 1981 First production four-door Range Rover appears along with the first factory-produced limited-edition Range Rover — the “In Vogue” 1982 Automatic transmission becomes available on Range Rover 1983 Range Rover five-speed manual gearbox is introduced standard, improving both ride comfort and offroad potential. The second generation was replaced in 2001 by the current model, the L322. The third-generation Range Rover’s suite of electronic chassis and braking aids included dynamic stability control (DSC), hill descent control (HDC) — a Land Rover invention — electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA). The latest version has enjoyed higher annual sales than any previous models and continues to be popular around the world. Sold around the world, from London to Los Angeles, Sydney to Shanghai, Turin to Tokyo, the Range Rover remains the ultimate choice for the luxury SUV customer. A second model line, the Range Rover Sport, was launched in 2005, aimed at more sports-oriented driverfocused customers. It has been a great success, and in 2007 was Land Rover’s biggest selling vehicle worldwide. Later this year, a further member of the Range Rover family was added, taking the portfolio to three model lines. The all-new compact Range Rover Evoque was revealed at the Paris Motors Show.

1985 The diesel-powered Range Rover “Bullet” breaks 27 speed records, including a diesel record for averaging more than 100mph for 24 hours 1987 Range Rover launched in North America 1989 Range Rover is the world’s first 4x4 to be fitted with ABS anti-lock brakes 1990 Limited Edition CSK — named after founder Charles Spencer King — is launched as a sportier Range Rover 1992 Range Rover Classic is the world’s first 4x4 to be fitted with electronic traction control (ETC) 1992 Long-wheelbase LSE (known as County LWB in the US) launched 1992 Automatic electronic air suspension introduced, a world first for a 4x4 1994 Second-generation (P38a) Range Rover goes on sale 1996 Range Rover Classic bows out after total production of 317,615 units 1999 Limited Edition Range Rover Linley appears at London Motor Show 2001 All-New Range Rover (L322) launched 2002 Half-millionth Range Rover rolls out at the Solihull plant 2005 Second model line — the Range Rover Sport — launched 2006 Terrain Response and TDV8 diesel introduced 2009 Range Rover features all-new LR-V8 5.0 and 5.0 supercharged petrol engines and technology updates 2010 Range Rover celebrates its 40th anniversary 2010 All-new compact Range Rover Evoque revealed at Paris Motor Show

32 PRODUCT Gophers

Power of Powermaps

By Daniel Wong

FLYING to the city of Bangkok is a quick and easy two-hour affair that we often forget how far the Thai capital really is from Kuala Lumpur. For Chong Lee Siong, director of product development for Gophers Technologies, the challenge to drive up to Bangkok from Kuala Lumpur was something he couldn’t pass up, and neither could we. Chong, who has no prior experience driving into Thailand, had planned to reach the capital in two days with the use of the latest Gophers Visi-O GPS (global positioning satellite) navigation device and Powermaps. Powermaps, a navigation software and map database created by Thai-based Aapico ITS, has been in development since the company started in 2005, and is now regarded as one of the best digital navigation maps in Thailand. The journey would entail 1,497km of the North-South Highway and Thailand’s regional highways, with only a hotel reservation in Bangkok at the end of the journey. Between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, we were at the mercy of the Powermaps program, but Chong

was confident Powermaps’ Thailand map database would guide us to our destination. With the latest Thai maps installed in our Visi-O units, we set off for the Thai border just outside of Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah. The first leg of our journey was a 340km drive to Juru Autocity, Penang where we stopped for lunch as it was easily accesible to the North-South Highway. Then we crossed the border into Thailand and covered as much distance up north as possible to reach the Thai capital as early as possible the next day. Due to a hiccup at the Thai border control we only set off from the border in the late afternoon. While the national highway known as Route 4 would head west towards the popular tourist destinations of Krabi and Phuket, we stuck to Route

41 which took us up north and deep into the Thai countryside. With night quickly setting in we decided to make Surat Thani, a city located 35km from the tourist destination of Ko Samui, as our next stop instead of Chumphon which was another 190km north. This was where the Powermaps’ Thai maps proved indispensable as the local populace could barely understand a word of our English which made queries for directions and location a near impossibility. Powermaps’ comprehensive database enabled our GPS unit to easily locate an obscure motel near the city centre. Called Palm Garden Resort, individual rooms come attached with its own parking lot in front, which is ideal for travellers who are driving. Due to time constraints the next day, we only managed a quick tour of Surat Thani before setting the Visi-O for Bangkok and started the 637km journey. Stopping only for food and fuel outside the city of Prachuap Khiri Khan along the highway, the Powermaps software guided us from our Surat Thani motel doorstep right up to the hotel lobby of Arnoma Hotel, which was located right in the heart of Bangkok city. With some detours along the way we noticed that direction re-routing was noticeably slower. But the software’s re-routing didn’t take longer than a minute despite having to sort out more than 500km worth of road. When we entered the bustling city of Bangkok, the Powermaps’ 3D landmark renderings did cause a slight lag in the Visi-O’s 3D view when rotating, but this problem was quickly alleviated by selecting the 2D view option or switching off the 3D landmark view option all together. To give us an idea of how large


Chong at the headquaters at Aapico in Ayutthaya.

the Thai maps are, Chong says data on the Thai maps are five times larger than that of the Powermaps we receive in Malaysia, which covers the whole of Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak included) as well as Singapore. Going by the smooth Thai journey, we can say that Powermaps is easily

one of the best route guidance software and navigation maps packages out there. — AC Syndication n For more information on Gophers with Powermaps, visit or call 1300888-477.

Going down the tough route MAPPING a country as big as general manager of Aapico ITS Co Thailand is no easy task, not even for Ltd, the company is yet to make Aapico ITS, a company that is part of returns on those investments. Aapico Hitech Public Co Ltd, one of “Everybody I know, business the largest OEM (original equipment associates, friends and even my manufacturer) parts manufacturers family, say that I shouldn’t continue in Thailand. to invest in navigation “It all started when software,’’ said Yeap. “Even I first saw these GPS the Japanese gave up on (global positioning developing maps and satellite) navigation navigation programs for devices in use in Japan,” Thailand.” said Yeap Swee Chuan, That said, business is founder and president beginning to pick up for the and CEO of Aapico young company. Hitech. “When we started “Back then there were we only managed 2,000 no digital navigation licenses. Last year we sold maps of Thailand, and 25,000 and this year we Yugijo hopes to we were the first map double licence sales forecast license sales to be and navigation software this year. in the region of 40,000 to company in Thailand.” 45,000,” said Yugijo. However, it hasn’t been So detailed and thorough smooth sailing for Aapico ITS as are Powermaps’ Thai maps that digitally mapping Thailand has been Aapico ITS now supplies Thai maps resource intensive with slow returns. to Navteq, the largest map maker in According to Yugijo Daud, senior the world.

Yeap is determined to be the best map supplier in Thailand.

What next for the fledging company? “We are beginning to map out Vietnam and Laos, but it would be a few more years before the navigation maps are be made available,” said Yeap. “We are considering Cambodia and Myanmar next.”

34 PRODUCT Soles and Energy Bar

Finding your sole mate By Jason Lim

Tecnoped Running (RM129-159) AN affordable way of improving the comfort and performance level of your favourite pair of shoes is by replacing the inner soles since shoe manufacturers will only offer a standard foam liner with all but their premium offerings. The Tecnoped insoles is one way of going about it. The insoles are made up of a Drytech fabric top layer which wicks away sweat keeping the foot dry. The ball area is lined with a PRN Propulsive insert which increases propulsion and promotes micro-circulation increasing oxygen circulation to the muscles while the heel area is lined with an anti-shock PRN insert which absorbs shock and vibration . The upper fabric also promotes better in-shoe grip and despite the additional cushioning and support, is negligible in weight over stock. While the Tecnoped insoles won’t instantly turn your shoes into mini clouds with shoelaces, you’ll appreciate the subtle differences

over a long run or towards the end of a long hike, like not having blisters to fresher feet at the end of a long training session. The Tecnoped comes in four sizes from 32 to 35, 36 to 39, 40 to 43 and 44 to 47. So if you’re a size 44 (that’s Euro for US10), you’d get the 44-47 insoles. Simply trim the pre-marked toe area down to size with a pair of scissors. Tecnopeds are also available for cycling and walking and retails for RM129 to RM159. Athlete’s Circle is currently having an introductory price of RM79 and RM89 respectively. Bauerfeind Comfort Sport Run (RRP: RM240) Marketed as a sports orthosis, the Bauerfeind Comfort Sports is designed to alleviate muscle exhaustion and prevent injuries by ensuring proper foot support and promoting a correct posture. The Comfort Sport is shaped to fit the contours of a normal athletic shoe and is made up of a micro-fibre slip-resistance material upper and a multi-density construction with

varying stiffness to correctly guide, cushion and support the feet in their bio-mechanical function in relation to the movement unique to each sport. The Comfort Sport Run for example has a more rigid mid-section for support and a flexible forefoot area. Bauerfeind also makes the Comfort Sports Walk and Play ideal for walking and ball sports activities. Unlike the Tecnoped, the Bauerfeind comes pre-cut to fit the shoes. Fit should ideally be about one to one and a half centimetres longer than the foot. While the Comfort Sport Run does provide better mid-foot support and a better running posture, it does take some getting use to. The insoles will initially feel rigid which will take some familiarisation time. — AC Syndication n For more information on the Tecnoped and Bauerfeind soles, call Athlete’s Circle at 03-7960 2313.

Energy on the go Sponser Oat Pack (RRP: RM10.90) IT looks like a bar of pemmican and taste like a fruitcake. The Sponser Oat Pack is made from fibre-rich oat flakes combined with roasted macadamia nuts and almonds that delivers long-lasting energy on the go which is suited for outdoor sports such as trekking, running or biking.

Both the macadamia and earth almonds are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and deliver fat soluble vitamins as well as various minerals like calcium and potassium. The only negative thing about the Sponser Oat Pack is that it tends to come out of its packaging rather easily which could lead to an unexpected mess inside the backpack after a long climb.

Since the Sponser Oat Pack is somewhat “heavy” on the stomach, it may not be much of a “running food”. It satisfies hunger pangs though. The 100 percent natural and handmade pack retails for RM10.90 each at Athlete’s Circle.

36 PRODUCT Optima battery

Optimum performance By Jaswir Kaur WHEN it comes to choosing a car battery, it is a question of money or performance in day-to-day operations for many consumers. The Optima brand is not only used by offroaders, car enthusiasts and monster truckers but also by rescue and emergency squads around the world as well as the US air force and many police departments. “It is simply the best battery in the world. It is 100 percent maintenance and corrosion free, lasts three times longer and has twice the starting power of a normal battery,” said Steven Tan, chairman of 4WD Equipment, the sole and exclusive distributor of Optima battery in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. “In other words, it is a battery that never fails.” In Singapore, all army and emergency vehicles run on the Optima battery according to Tan. The American brand has been in the Malaysian market for about 15 Optima batteries are built with a unique SpiralCell Technology. Instead of flat plates used in ordinary batteries, Optima uses two thin lead plates wound into a spiral cell with a glassmat in between to contain the acid. The technique of winding the cells, which are linked with solid connections, gives maximum performance with a minimum of size and weight. This makes the battery compact, robust and easy to mount.

years “It is six times more expensive than a normal battery because of the high import duty we pay. If you break it open, the spiral cell design will reveal lead plates of a high level of purity. The lead output is about 1,050 amps as compared to 70-90 amps in a normal battery.” Two popular models are the Yellow Top and Red Top versions. The Yellow Top Optima battery provides power for special vehicles with winches, engine heaters and other energy demanding applications that require a battery with extra high capacity. “An interesting fact about the Yellow Top battery is that you can recharge it about 400 times when it goes flat,” said Tan. The Red Top Optima battery delivers high power cranking ability with greater resistance to the biggest causes of battery failure. It is commonly used in trucks, SUVs, luxury cars and offroad vehicles where a leak-proof, high power longer lasting starting battery is

necessary. “For diesel engines, you need much heavier duty cranking power. A good battery will help you winch at optimum level, sometimes up to 600 amp at a go. A large number of competitor vehicles in the International Rainforest Challenge (RFC) are fitted with the Optima batteries.” As damage from vibration is a leading cause of battery failure, it is reputed that Optima batteries are over 15 times more vibration resistant than traditional batteries due to the patented Spiral Cell Technology. “Optima batteries are also suitable for vehicles that are used seasonally because of their low discharge rate. “If you have a first rate car, Optima would be the only choice.” The Optima Red Top battery is priced at RM1,550 and the Yellow Top at RM1,850. — AC Syndication n For more details call 4WD Equipment at 03 5511 6060 or fax 03 5511 8600.

SpiralCell Technology

By Jaswir Kaur

TOP quality products have always been uppermost in Steven Tan’s mind since pioneering the country’s first and largest four-wheel drive equipment outlet in 1989. He is currently the chairman of Four Wheel Drive Equipment Sdn Bhd, the first Malaysian company to market world renowned product brands ranging from Warn, ARB, Old Man Emu, American Racing, Optima and Explorer Pro. Tan’s interest in four-wheel drive equipment began after he visited the American 4WD Show. “Over 100 Warn distributors worldwide meet annually at the show. When I was there, they gave me good advice, especially on the Warn range of products. “Some customers say I am a ‘Mr Cut-throat’ because of the high prices on the premium range of products we carry,” said Tan in his office which houses a large library of technical spec materials. “But we only stock the world’s best products and not everyone can afford World No 1 products. We don’t sell World No 2 products.” This may sound arrogant to some, but Tan’s outlet is Asia’s top seller of Warn winches and ARB range of canopies, suspensions and bull bars, to name a few. The outlet is also Asia’s biggest 4x4 equipment and accessories warehouse distributor, stockist and retailer.

The Mitsubishi Triton was one of the 300 trucks fully upgraded at 4WD Equipment for corporate customer Tenaga National Berhad (TNB).


World’s best comes at a price

Steven Tan at the Warn display corner of 4WD Equipment’s office in Shah Alam.

It has its own specialist vehicle service and installation workshop within the compound of the head office building in Jalan Utas, Shah Alam. The head office is conveniently located next door to several original equipment manufacturers (OEM) vehicle assembly plants such as Ford Malaysia, Toyota, Land Rover, Daihatsu and Volvo. “We have over 40 in-house technicians who provide professional 4x4 vehicle overhaul and maintenance services,” said Steven. “Our mobile teams of trained technicians service and repair Warn electrical winches throughout Peninsular Malaysia. “Good workmanship is important to us. We also let our customers know of the technical specs of the products on sale so that they can compare prices. “4WD Equipment has built up its

name based on integrity, honesty and product value.” After two decades of retailing four-wheel drive equipment and accessories, Tan said that 4WD Equipment now concentrates on volume sales to OEM manufacturers, government tenders and large corporate clients like Maxis, Telecoms, Tenaga Nasional and Celcom. “End users are handled by our network of 62 dealers around the country,” said the 58-year-old Tan who is now semi-retired and has handed over the day to day running of the business to his sister, Janet. Tan and his team also conduct training sessions for clients on Warn winch and safe winching techniques as well as 4x4 basic offroading skills. “Every winching situation has a potential for personal injury. In order to minimise the risk, it is important that the user is guided and thinks safety before using the winch.” — AC Syndication

38 PRODUCT Salomon

Quality outdoor sports products By Jaswir Kaur

OUTDOOR enthusiasts seeking quality products will find the World of Sports outlets at leading malls in the Klang Valley and towns in Peninsular Malaysia a haven for active lifestyle sporting products and accessories. It is the exclusive distributor and retailer of several major international sports brands

including Salomon, Columbia, Teva, Head, Mizuno, Keen and Hi-Tec. Leading French brand Salomon retails products for various sports markets, including trail running, hiking, climbing, adventure racing, and snowboarding in over 40 countries.

Trailblazer 25 backpack RM339

n For more details call 03 91010212.

Trail running tights RM99.90 Men’s XT Wings RM599 Ortholite material, with moisture wicking insole.

Raid Revo 30 backpack RM409

Ladies XT Wings RM399 Quick dry with side mesh fabric and moisture wicking insole. Ideal for river crossing and jungle adventures.

Men’s Elios RM759 Low and midcut with contact grip, waterproof, excellent traction for mountain climbing and outdoors. Trail Pro 5 RM539 Soles with sticky rubber surface, good grip on wet surfaces. Offers pronation control.

XTI belt with water bottle RM209

Trail running singlet RM79.90

Men’s XA Pro 3D Ultra RM559 Waterproof, sticky rubber sole with excellent traction. Trail running t-shirts RM109.90 Contact grip for sweat absorption, moisture wicking insole. Ideal for outdoor adventures.

Packable windbreaker RM429

Wind jacket RM659

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