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Speed Week 2018

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Welcome - Daryl Loy ED­I­TOR ed­i­[email protected]

One of the big­gest rev­e­la­tions from last month’s Bud­get 2019 ad­dress by Fi­nance Min­is­ter Lim Guan Eng was a fuel sub­sidy for cars with en­gine ca­pac­i­ties of 1,500cc and be­low. Had it been a blan­ket sub­sidy, re­cently-launched con­ti­nen­tal cruis­ers like the MINI Coun­try­man Plu­gin Hy­brid (page 38) and Mercedes-Benz C200 (page 132) would have ben­e­fited at the ex­pense of lesser cars with big­ger en­gines such as the Pro­ton Per­sona and Honda H-RV.

Both Lim and Trans­port Min­is­ter An­thony Loke have gone on to clear the air, say­ing that lux­ury cars would not qual­ify for such re­bates. How such a ‘class sys­tem’ can be of­fi­cially im­ple­mented re­mains to be seen. But sub­sidy or no, credit should not be drawn from MINI, Mercedes and other pre­mium car­mak­ers who have man­aged to up­hold lofty stan­dards in lux­ury and dy­namism in their prod­ucts which have been forced to go on a diet.

While the charge­able Coun­try­man and down­sized C-Class show how the 1.5-litre four-banger can be rein­vented to sa­ti­ate the driv­ing de­mands of Malaysia’s T20 pop­u­la­tion, the B40friendly Pero­dua Alza (page 37), con­tin­ues to make the most out of the same en­gine ar­chi­tec­ture at the low­est cost. It may not look as fresh or as fancy as most of the other cars we have lined up in this month’s Drives sec­tion, but the seven-seat Pero­dua con­tin­ues to of­fer in­cred­i­ble bang for buck to grow­ing fam­i­lies on a bud­get.

Yes, bud­get is a term we use in TopGear from time to time. We’d hap­pily test any­thing on four wheels, some­times two. And oc­cu­py­ing the com­plete op­po­site end of the spec­trum is the bulk of this is­sue’s Speed Week con­tes­tants: Bu­gatti Ch­i­ron, Fer­rari 488 Pista and McLaren 600LT in­cluded. We sug­gest you try bat­tling the urge to flip through this part of the mag (page 57 to 123) too quickly be­cause the build-up to this year’s win­ner is re­ally quite a ride.

Once you’ve read it till the end, feel free to write in and tell us what you think. Was the win­ning car wor­thy of its crown? Or should it have gone to some­thing else in­stead? Want to see a Malaysian edi­tion of Speed Week? Or would you be hap­pier if we did a Pero­dua Alza group test in­stead?

As al­ways, we’re all ears. You can also get in touch with us via our on­line plat­forms (Face­book, In­sta­gram and www.topgear.

com.my), where more ex­cit­ing con­tent is pub­lished for free. In the mean­time, drive safe and en­joy the is­sue.

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